I am sad to inform you that Skypolaris start has been delayed.

Everything was going to be ready by November the 15th, but the most important permit, the clearance to enter antarctica, is not granted so far.

The process started January 2014, when I requested support from the Spanish Air Force. That support was kindly granted, and included survival gear and international contact via a department called SERIN.

Soon, SERIN organised a meeting with the Air Force representatives of Chile, Argentina, England, Australia and got their support.

Later also, they got the support of the US Air Force.

That time, I was instructed to contact the Spanish Polar Committee (CPE), and so I did.

November 2014, the CPE received the documents they required to evaluate the Environmental impact of the activity.

Much later, beginning March 2015, the CPE requested more information about the scientific part of the project. That document, presented by the leader of the scientific project, Doctor Lucas Alados, from CEAMA, was acknowledged to be received March the 5th.

As time was running and in order to have the fuel needed at Antarctica to be shipped on time, I contacted again the CPE. Then, I got an answer of Mr. Catalan, who is the technical Secretary of the CPE, denying the project, stating that flying over the southern seas is very dangerous, and also that he scientific project was missing signatures, stamps, and so far.

I asked for an interview with the President of the CPE, a lady called Marina Villegas, who is the Director of Science in the Ministry. She declined that meeting stating that the scientific project was not supported and talking for the very first time about that the high risk of the flight would lead to an environment impact higher than minimum or transitory. So, she supported her Technical Secretary denial.

Then, we contacted, thank to the help of Bill Harrelson, the US Environmental Protection Agency EPA. They were very kind and answered me that their understanding is that this flight would have an environmental impact under the minimum or transitory. That mean that if I was american, I would be cleared.

Of course, that document was sent to the CPE, with no effect at all.

Then we were requested that the University of Granada declares that they support the scientific project of CEAMA. That writing was presented in October.

But meanwhile, I was told that a stranger thing has happened: the CPE in charge to study the scientific project, stopped the procedure by itself….

That sounded very difficult to understand. Besides, Mr Alados was always telling about the good behaviour of that person.

So, few days ago, I had a meeting with him to find out what was going on.

The CPE in charge to study the project received it in March and immediately started to work on it with its team. Then, the approved it and informed the CPE Secretary !

Why that Secretary kept telling about not knowing many things about the project, and even used that to deny it even with the positive report of the responsable of scientific projects at the CPE?

Why that Secretary kept telling the same thing to the President of CPE?

Now, the Secretary has, besides, the signature of Granada University, and and now, he states that it is too late for this winter to study the flight in order to provide  or not a clearance next year. Also he states that he needs the approval from the CPE itself to start working… That clearance would be requested the next November the 17th during their biannual meeting, but the project is not part of the items to be discussed at that meeting….

Also one asks itself why now he needs the agreement of the full CPE and he did´t ask for it at the 2014 november meeting and the 2015 March meeting?

Why he denied the flight without informing the full CPE team?

So, here we are, with almost everything ready but stopped.

Now, the flight is delayed and will start March the 6th, for the north Pole attempt. I will fly into Cabo Verve Islands and the to Recife (Brasil).

We will study the air along the path, and at some specific points in south america, including the Amazon river and Colombia. The aircraft would be present at Sun & Fun and then, fly north into the North Pole and back to Spain via Svalvard.

If everything is fixed with the CPE, I would depart October 2016 into Australia for Antarctica.

Now, more time will allow more testings and that is the positive part of this crazy story.

I will keep working in every item to get that project accomplished. A lot of work is being done right now and I hope to get the results I do expect


One Comment

Michel Gordillo / Dec 4, 2015 8:11 pm / Reply

Thank you very much, Sandra.
I will follow your advice and let you know later
Bes regards

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