Why is so difficult to fly aircrafts in Antarctica? Airplanes are not common in Antarctica. The reason is simple: the landing process is extraordinarily complicated. With global warming affecting the continent, the runways do not always have enough ice. This is compounded by a problem of intruding penguins on the runways that can cause accidents.
Aircrafts have flown to Antarctica since the mid-20th century. The first flight to the South Pole occurred in 1956. Today there are almost 50 runways. However, the vast majority of the roughly 40,000-plus tourists that visit Antarctica every year arrive by ship.
Antarctica’s airports are unlike traditional airports. Airlines must constantly check the runways. When the temperature exceeds the usual average, the ice becomes unstable which makes it impossible to land. The airlines are also required to realign the runways every year due to the movement of the ice.