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AMATII Workshop starts today
Shipping News
Written by Magdalena Tomasik   
Monday, 03 December 2012 11:17

(Logo: AMATII)(Logo: AMATII)

Monday, 3rd of December 2012 the workshop on Arctic Transportation Infrastructure Response and Capacity and Sustainable Development in the Arctic starts today in Hotel Natura in the capital city of Iceland – Reykjavik.


The registration opens at 14.00 after which the small group brainstorming and crowd sourcing of definitions and terminology will take place.


Arctic experts will meet in both plenary and work sessions to discuss infrastructure vis-à-vis response, technology and investment. Case studies and illustrative stories of northern aviation and marine infrastructure - contributed by participants – will serve to highlight the challenges of infrastructure development in the Arctic and its role in facilitating sustainable development.


Participants will also have a chance to view and evaluate the Arctic Port and Airport Database and web-based map, which is the primary deliverable of this project. Subject matter expert input will help refine and strengthen this tool.


The workshop will end with an interactive plenary session, discussing next steps and outlining areas of consideration for a Guidance Document, a deliverable for this Arctic Council project.


To read more about the conference and subscribe to the event, please click here. To browse the conference agenda, please access here. Information about workshop logistics, such as hotel and transportation are available here.


Please, follow the links to read about the Arctic shipping and aviation challenges on the Arctic Portal Shipping Portlet.



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Transpolar flights, a shortcut through the Arctic
Written by Magdalena Tomasik   
Friday, 30 November 2012 09:01

(Photo: Getty Images)(Photo: Getty Images)

"Aviation is a proof that given, the will, we have the capacity to achieve the impossible."

Eddie Rickenbacker


Long before the jet age, commercial aircraft were flying through the Arctic Circle. After the successful voyages of Richard Byrd and Umberto Nobile in 1926, the feasibility of polar aviation was demonstrated in actual practice. Nowadays, commercial traffic, connecting Europe, North America and Asia through the north polar routes is a routine.


Cross-polar air corridors bring new opportunities for both commercial and private travel markets. Transpolar aviation reduces the burn of fuel by making the travel time shorter what lowers the cost of trans-polar air operations.


Flying direct paths between many of North American and Asian cities also decreases the environmental threats of greenhouse gases emissions, which are now one of the major concerns of the Arctic States.


Polar air corridors refer to aircraft routes lying across the uninhabited polar ice cap region, 78 degrees north from the northern latitude what includes areas of northern part of Alaska and most of Siberia. Term of Polar Route was originally adopted in the middle of 20th century and applied to the great circle between Europe and west coast of North America.


The Polar Route formally opened after the Cold War for commercial flights between Europe and Asian Far East as before that period civilian flights were not able to cross the air space over the Soviet Union and China as those countries were much concerned about the possibility of trans-polar attack.


Nowadays commercial traffic through the northern hemisphere is operated by various aircraft as Boeing 747 - 400 and Airbus A340, with ranges of around 7000 nautical miles. In 2001, Arctic States adopted policy letter, Guidance for Polar Operations, which outlined a number of specific requirements for polar flight operations, including cold weather conditions, special communication capabilities, fuel freeze strategy, evacuation and recovery plans for abandoned passengers and special monitoring requirements as the aircraft operating in the Arctic rely almost exclusively on satellite communications, where a pilot´s signal is beamed into the space and bounced back to a ground control station.


(Photo: Getty Images) Modern aircraft flying the polar route (Photo: Getty Images) Modern aircraft flying the polar route

Arctic operating planes handle the distances between Europe, Asia and North America and are managed by various airlines. The International Air Transportation Association proposed the establishment of the Pacific Project which would meet the increasing air traffic demand between Asia and North America which is very likely to double by the end of 2025.



Opening of new and improving strategies on already used air traffic routes offer possibilities to reach various locations in the northern hemisphere in easy and cost efficient way.


Trans-Arctic shipping routes appear to emerge as the fastest way of transportation between North America and Asia. Flying direct paths across the uninhabited Arctic ice cap region, helps aircraft to reduce the fuel burns, travel time and associated environmental carbon emissions.


Advanced transportation technology increases the importance of airships for trade and economic development. It is being defined that aircraft able to fly the Polar Routes are the most competitive in northern areas without highly developed infrastructure.


There are 676 airports currently maintained around the Arctic and majority of them is situated in Alaska, United States. There are 79 airports in Arctic Canada, 71 in Russia, 62 in Denmark (Greenland and Faroe Islands), 56 in Norwegian Arctic including Svalbard, 55 in Finland, 35 in Sweden and close to 20 in Iceland. Not all of them exist as ports of entries for international traffic as those are partly used domestically.


(Map: Arctic Portal) Air shipping routes (Map: Arctic Portal) Air shipping routes Interactive map aims to locate and provide with significant information with regards to Arctic airports. This research will show the mechanisms associated with Arctic air traffic in rather difficult, unique climate and familiarize with Arctic airports locations and information with regards to runway length and elevation to indicate approximate size of the airport and load classification.


Trans – Arctic aviation leaves a significant scare in the fragile Arctic environment. All forms of air traffic used to cross the Arctic air space emit carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, like oxides of nitrogen and water vapor, into the northern atmosphere.


Emissions of an Arctic airship can vary significantly, according to the size of the aircraft, the number of passengers on board, the distance of journey and the altitude as it was proved that aircraft flying on high altitudes produce more carbon dioxide than those operating on lower altitudes.


Reducing air travels and Arctic air tourism opportunities seem to be another alternative way to reduce aviation impact on climate change and Arctic environment. If future travel demand could be managed with supplementary ways of transportation, increased taxation would not be needed to be implemented by the Arctic States.


To read more about Arctic aviation, please enter the Aviation chapter in Arctic Portal Shipping Portlet.

EU in the Barents region addressed
Other News
Friday, 30 November 2012 08:08

From the conference yesterday (Photo: NArFU) From the conference yesterday (Photo: NArFU)Leading researches and experts, politicians, representatives from business and authorities are attending the conference "Cooperation in the Barents Euro-Arctic Region in the field of education and research as a resource for regional development".

The conference is held in the Northern (Arctic) Federal University (NArFU). 

The conference yesterday started with the plenary session. Ingvild Broch, Coordinator External Review made a short overview of cooperation in the spheres of education and research in the BEAR and pointed out some future challenges. She touched upon some important historical facts of international cooperation between Russia and Scandinavian countries. Marina Kalinina, Vice-rector of International cooperation, NArFU spoke about "University as a Driving Force of Change" and named the priority goals of the Northern (Arctic) Federal University.

Harry Malinen, Senior expert of the University of Lapland and Lapland University Consortium (Finland) talked about the opportunities for the universities within EU framework. He paid special attention to existing international programs in the Barents region and EU relevant for those who work within research and education area. Anatoly Smirnov, the President of the National Institute for Research of Global Security finished the plenary session with his report about information technologies in the Barents region.

Later this day a new cooperation agreement was signed between NArFU and Finnmark College. Ingvar Hauge, the senior advisor of Finnmark University College and Elena Kudryashova, the Rector of NArFU signed the document that marks the beginning of a new stage in the history of collaboration between two universities. This agreement aims to develop partnership in educational and exchange programs as well as other important issues.

"Murmansk and Arkhangelsk universities are the most important partners for us in Russia. I would like to bring forward cooperation in the fields like language, tourism, economics, social works, management of natural resources. And the most important sight of this cooperation is perhaps student and academic exchange, what I think we can bring forward," Ingvar Hauge commented.

After a short coffee break the participants of the conference went on parallel sessions that focused on different issues of Barents region cooperation and its connections to cooperation with business and industry, challenges in education, and carrier paths in BEAR for youth.

Consul General of Sweden in St.Petersburg Mr. Jan Nyberg, visited NArFU in the framework of the conference this day as well. During a working meeting with Elena Kydryashova and Marina Kalinina he discussed the issues of cooperation between Russian and Swedish universities. Jan Nyberg also had an excursion around the campus and had a meeting with the students and lecturers from the Institute of Philology and Cross-Cultural Communication, who study Swedish language.

During closing plenary session the participants had a possibility to sum-up the result of intensive sessions' work and to share their findings and proposals for the new Kirkenes Declaration.



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Online seminar on reindeers
Other News
Thursday, 29 November 2012 10:14

Reindeers on the run (Photo: GettyImages) Reindeers on the run (Photo: GettyImages)A seminar entitled Civilisation of Reindeer and future of the Arctic is shown live over the internet today.

The seminar has many interesting speakers and presentation and it is easily accessible here.

Click this link to follow the seminar live.

Nomadic Herders and Industrial Development of Natural Resources is held in the Nomadic Herders Days in St. Petersburg, Russia.

The venue is 
Saint-Petersburg State University, Faculty of Geography and Geoecology and the chair of the today is  Dr. Konstantin Klokov.



{mosmap address='St. Petersburg, Russia'|zoom='4'|}

Barents cooperation stressed at NArFU
Other News
Wednesday, 28 November 2012 10:30

From the conference yesterday (Photo: NArFU) From the conference yesterday (Photo: NArFU)Leading researches and experts, politicians, representatives from business and authorities are attending the conference "Cooperation in the Barents Euro-Arctic Region in the field of education and research as a resource for regional development" which began yesterday.

The conference is held in the Northern (Arctic) Federal University (NArFU). In a welcoming address Britt Vigdis Ekelu, vice President of Education in the University of Tromsø said that it was "very interesting for us to discuss our common past.

Fruitful and extensive cooperation in the fields of medicine, education, biology, student exchange has been established between our universities during the years of collaboration," she said, and stressed close cooperation in the region.

The first plenary session was held later with the framework of the conference. Sverre Stub, Ambassador, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Norway spoke about "Norway's views on the Barents cooperation". Andrej Shalev, Honorary Council of Norway in Archangelsk reviewed the last twenty years of Barents Cooperation.

President UArctic Lars Kullerud held a lecture about "Circumpolar cooperation in higher education and research: University of the Arctic". Katja Sukuvaara, Senior Advisor, Joint Managing Authority, Kolarctic ENPI CBC Programme spoke about the Kolarctic program.

"Cooperation gave us an opportunity to normalize relationships between the countries in a small amount of time," Sverre Stub said. "And the most important thing is that this cooperation has been gradually developing and involved more and more people. Contacts between people became the main basis of Barents region cooperation and turned to be the greatest achievement."

Later a panel discussion was held on the theme "Northern Universities for the development of the region: new realities – new perspectives". A dialogue between the university community and politicians". The discussion focused on the issues of Barents region cooperation, new challenges of education and research in the North, the role of universities in the development of international relationships. Special attention was paid to the problems of Barents region, such as population outflow.

The first day of the conference be considered as having been a successful event not only because of the quality of the lectures and but also because of its international character. The participants praised a constructive and motivating atmosphere during the sessions and informal talks, according to the Narfu website.


{mosmap address='Arkhangelsk, Russia'|zoom='2'|}

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