Franz Josef Land
© RIA Novosti. Vladimir Astapkovich

Military airfield to be built on Franz Josef Land

A temporary airfield for Russian Air Force transport aircraft is being built on Alexandra Land, an island in Franz Josef Land, said Colonel Igor Klimov of the Press and Information Department of Russia's Defence Ministry.

"A seasonal airfield is being built for military transport aircraft on Alexandra Land in the Franz Josef archipelago in the Arctic," Colonel Klimov said, as quoted by RIA Novosti.

The process includes ice clearing and tamping. "The landing strip will be 2,500 metres long. The airfield will be used for delivering personnel and cargo to the Arctic," Klimov said.

Landings on the island are complicated by the surrounding hills and rocks, and hence pilots will use the non-directional beacon approach with an obligatory visual sighting of the landing strip and only in good weather.

"A transport aircraft is currently training in the take-off/landing procedure at a permanent airfield under simulated Arctic conditions," Colonel Klimov said.