Flying over Antarctica might seem like a feat of modern aviation or a shortcut between continents; However, the reality is that commercial flights rarely cross this territory. What are the reasons behind this air evasion?

>>> Is the Earth splitting in two? They warn of a possible geological fault

Why can’t a plane fly in Antarctica?

Antarctica is a continent of extremes, where temperatures can drop to -70°C. These adverse weather conditions can affect the performance of aircraft, especially their engines and hydraulic systems, and there is a risk that fuel could freeze at -47°C.

Besides, Landing strips in Antarctica are scarce and mostly icy, making them unreliable for emergencies.

On the other hand, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) establishes safety regulations known as ETOPS (Extended-range Twin-engine Operational Performance Standards), which dictate that The planes must be at a distance that allows them to reach an alternative airport in a maximum time of 180 minutes in the event of an emergency.

Given the shortage of suitable airports near Antarctica, this rule limits the ability of aircraft to fly over the region.

To fly in the harsh Antarctic conditions, pilots would need specialized training. Additionally, in the event of an emergency requiring a landing in Antarctica, Passengers would need special suits to survive in the extreme cold, which is neither practical nor economical for airlines.

>>> This is the only living being that can be seen from space

And Antarctica is not the only area where commercial flights do not fly over, as there are other places on Earth:

  • North Pole: similar to Antarctica, due to extreme conditions and air navigation routes.
  • The Himalayas: due to altitude and dangerous weather conditions.
  • Mecca: out of respect for the religious importance and for the safety of the pilgrims.
  • Disneyland: for security reasons and to avoid disturbing visitors.
  • El Taj Mahal: to protect heritage and for security.
  • George Washington’s residence: for historical and security reasons.
  • Military no-fly zones: for national security and military operations.


Leave a Reply