Antarctic runway feeling the heat


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The Government's being urged to consider setting aside funding for an ice runway servicing US and New Zealand operations in Antarctica.

The main ice runway used for accessing Scott and McMurdo bases in Antarctica is feeling the heat.

The New Zealand Antarctic Institute's told a Parliamentary Committee the Pegasus Ice runway suffered considerable melting in the last season it was used.

The melt's being blamed on a combination of  warmer temperatures and dust contamination.

The institute says the deterioration caused much disruption to flight scheduling and warns the contamination will eventually require the runway be replaced.

While the runway is administered by the USA, Antarctica New Zealand chief executive Peter Beggs says we should contribute to its future.

"If we are now in a situation where a new runway needs to be built or if we need to contribute more to run maintenance then yes the New Zealand Government should set some funds aside to support us."

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