Russian Arctic National Park set to refuel tourist helicopters
© RIA Novosti. Alexandra Agranat

Russian Arctic National Park set to refuel tourist helicopters

Russian Arctic National Park Director Alexander Kirilov has suggested establishing two or three multirole facilities for expanded Arctic tourism; and they are needed to refuel tourist helicopters. Kirilov said this at the Agency for Strategic Initiatives session, ‘Business Activity in Ecotourism: Creating Eco-Thinking Through Communities' during the 2018 Arctic Days in Moscow Federal Arctic Forum.

The Franz Josef Land archipelago is located 1,200 kilometers from mainland Russia, and a tourist helicopter has a range of about 600 kilometers, Kirilov explained.

"First, a refueling station will help us extend the tourist season from March through October. Second, each person will spend 200,000 rubles less when traveling to the Franz Josef Land archipelago and Novaya Zemlya," Kirilov noted.

This would also help boost tourist safety. According to Kirilov, any emergency medical treatment is out of the question here, and it is currently impossible to evacuate sick and wounded persons to the mainland.

"People taking icebreakers to the Franz Josef Land archipelago and on to the North Pole spend 1.5-2.5 million rubles per tour. Those arriving from Longyearbyen spend about 800,000 rubles. The current situation prevents us from expanding the tourist industry at Russian Arctic National Park," Kirilov said. Each year, the park receives about 1,000 tourists from Murmansk and Longyearbyen, with tourists from the People's Republic of China and Germany accounting for 30 percent and 17 percent, respectively, followed by those from Switzerland and the United States. Russian citizens account for no more than 5 percent of the total number. According to Kirilov, each tourist nets the park about 4,500 rubles.

Moscow is hosting the 2018 Arctic Days in Moscow Federal Arctic Forum November 21-25 at several venues. The forum includes over ten business and cultural events on Arctic issues. For a more detailed forum program and the latest updates, go to the forum's official site, The forum's main goals are to raise public awareness of the Arctic's natural, historical and cultural landmarks and to attract more tourists to Russia's Extreme North. Rossiya Segodnya International Information Agency and are the forum's media partners.