Australia’s plans to build a 2.7 km airstrip and other infrastructure in the ice-free Vestfold Hills near its Davis Station in East Antarctica have been heavily criticized, primarily on environmental grounds. The aerodrome, which Australia contends would improve scientific access to the continent and facilitate search and rescue operations, could also have an array of geopolitical implications. Antarctic legal expert Jeffrey McGee, an associate professor at the University of Tasmania in Hobart who has come out in support of the project, recently co-authored a report for the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, “All-weather aerodrome in Antarctica would be a gamechanger for Australia”. Dr. McGee joins the podcast to explain the strategic rationale and current status of the aerodrome and why he believes, if the plans go forward, it would not only benefit Australia but also other Antarctic stakeholders.  

 

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