Pandemic halts 109th Airlift Wing’s annual trip to Antarctica

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SCOTIA, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The coronavirus pandemic is putting the brakes on a longstanding mission at a local Air National Guard base.

For the first time in 32 years, the 109th Airlift Wing will not be flying to Antarctica to support the research teams there. The National Science Foundation is limiting the number of people who set foot on the continent to prevent the introduction of the coronavirus there.

The specially equipped planes from the 109th will instead be on standby in New Zealand. It’s about a five-hour flight if they need to respond for an emergency.


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