MOSCOW, October 28 (RIA Novosti) — China will deploy its first fixed-wing aircraft to carry out research in Antarctica in 2015, also planning to send the 31st scientific expedition to choose a site for the Antarctic airfield, Xinhua reported Tuesday.
From the United States, China purchased the Basler BT-67 aircraft capable of flying on research, rescue and transportation missions at low temperatures, the agency reported citing Qu Tanzhou, head of the Chinese Arctic and Antarctic Administration.
China is also sending its 31st scientific expedition to choose a site for the planned airfield in proximity to China's Zhongshan Station in eastern Antarctica, according to Tanzahou.
Tanzahou also noted the possibility of sharing a Russian airfield near the station.
Several members of the 1959 Antarctic Treaty operate research bases in Antarctica. The treaty froze the territorial claims on all sections of land located 60 degrees south latitude. However, several countries are continuing to press their (sometimes overlapping) claims for territorial rights to various parts of Antarctica. Australia has the largest claim.
Other signatories of the Treaty include Argentina, Chile, France, New Zealand, Norway and the United Kingdom.