Google yielded a map at https://nordregio.org/maps/airports-in-the-arctic-2019/, but it doesn't list any airport codes or names. Any that do?

I am curious how many such airport can assist Polar Route commercial airliners that must crash land in the Arctic. Ugolny Airport - Wikipedia

Owing to its geographic location, its long, concrete-reinforced, heavy load-bearing runway, as well as its modern terminal with jet bridges, the airport is well-suited and well-situated for emergency diversion at roughly the midpoint of the northern route trans-Pacific routes.

  • On 2 July 2013, a Korean Air Boeing 777-300 performing a scheduled flight from [hicago to Seoul made an emergency landing at Ugolny after one of its engines quit in flight.[3]
  • On the morning of 5 March 2019, an Air China Boeing 777-300ER performing a scheduled flight from Beijing to Los Angeles made an emergency landing due to a fire alarm later confirmed false. All of the 10 evacuation slides deployed.

1 Answer 1


I am curious how many such airport can assist Polar Route commercial airliners that must crash land in the Arctic

Which airports are suitable?

The question is more difficult to answer than one might think. First the required length for the runway depends on the type of aircraft and its mass. Small regional aircraft like Airbus A220-100 would take off with less than 5,000 ft and 6,000 ft is considered sufficient for most aircraft. Larger aircraft like Airbus 380, Boeing 747 and Boeing 777 may require more than 8,000 ft. As takeoff requires more runway than landing, it could land on a shorter runway but would then need to take off empty or slightly loaded.

Airports with adequate runways are not so numerous in the Arctic area. In addition the temperatures found at the poles pose a serious threat to humans. Regulations require to have a plan for accommodation and evacuation if no air solution is available to leave the airport within a given time.

But the good news is polar routes are operated under ETOPS which allow to select diversion airports at some distance from the planned route, it's enough the airport is within the reach of the ETOPS time. For example for ETOPS 180, the airport can be within a 3 hours range, and for ETOPS 330, the radius is extended to 5 hours and 30 minutes, which in practical means no constraint in the choice.

The selection of alternate airports involves evaluating candidates for different numbers of passengers, different aircraft, and different periods in the year. Aircraft manufacturers provide their customers with studies about airport capabilities, for example Boeing did say they assessed some new airports for new routes to Asian destinations:

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You won't find detailled information online, the results of such studies are sold to customers.

Arctic area airports

Map with names of all active airports for Polar Routes?

Alternate airports have not be within the Arctic area, thanks to the ETOPS standards, but the list of Arctic area airports you're interested in is actually not difficult to compute. They are the ones located past the Arctic circle (66.5°) and with good capabilities in term of runway length.

Google yielded a map, but it doesn't list any airport codes or names. Any that do?

This map shows many mall airports not suitable for airliners, and not suitable for accomodation.

We can create a map for airports matching a given runway length, say 5,000 ft, using OurAirports lists of runways:

enter image description here

Airports beyond the Arctic circle with a runway (any surface) longer than 5,000 ft

The corresponding list is:

$$ \begin{array} {|c|c|c|c|c|c|l|l|} \hline Airport&Lat&Lon&Runways&Length&Surface&Municipality&Airport Name\\ \hline CYLT&82.5178&-62.2806&05T/23T&5500&GVL&Alert&Alert Airport\\ ENSB&78.2461&15.4656&10/28&7608&ASP&Longyearbyen&Svalbard Airport, Longyear\\ BGTL&76.5312&-68.7032&8/26&9997&ASPH&Thule&Thule Air Base\\ BGTL&76.5312&-68.7032&08T/26T&9997&ASP&Thule&Thule Air Base\\ CYRB&74.7169&-94.9694&17T/35T&6500&GVL&Resolute Bay&Resolute Bay Airport\\ UOHH&71.9781&102.4910&6/24&8872&CON&Khatanga&Khatanga Airport\\ UEST&71.6977&128.9030&3/21&9845&CON&Tiksi&Tiksi Airport\\ PABR&71.2854&-156.7660&6/24&6500&ASP&Utqiaġvik&Wiley Post Will Rogers Memorial Airport\\ USDA&71.2192&72.0522&4/22&8858&CON&Sabetta&Sabetta International Airport\\ PASC&70.1947&-148.4650&5/23&6500&ASPH-G&Deadhorse&Deadhorse Airport\\ ENNA&70.0688&24.9735&16/34&9147&ASP&Lakselv&Lakselv Airport, Banak\\ ENAT&69.9761&23.3717&11/29&7165&ASP&Alta&Alta Airport\\ UHMP&69.7833&170.5970&17/35&8202&CON&Apapelgino&Pevek Airport\\ ENKR&69.7258&29.8913&5/23&6939&ASP&Kirkenes&Kirkenes Airport, Høybuktmoen\\ ENTC&69.6833&18.9189&18/36&7848&ASP&Tromsø&Tromsø Airport, Langnes\\ UOOO&69.3111&87.3322&1/19&9255&CON&Norilsk&Norilsk-Alykel Airport\\ ENAN&69.2925&16.1442&14/32&8097&ASP&Andenes&Andøya Airport, Andenes\\ ENAN&69.2925&16.1442&3/21&5486&ASP&Andenes&Andøya Airport, Andenes\\ ENDU&69.0558&18.5404&10/28&8015&ASP&Målselv&Bardufoss Airport\\ ULMM&68.7817&32.7508&13/31&8202&CON&Murmansk&Murmansk Airport\\ CYUX&68.7761&-81.2425&12T/30T&5410&GVL&Hall Beach&Hall Beach Airport\\ EFIV&68.6073&27.4053&4/22&8199&ASP&Ivalo&Ivalo Airport\\ ENEV&68.4913&16.6781&17/35&9236&ASP&Evenes&Harstad/Narvik Airport, Evenes\\ EFET&68.3626&23.4243&3/21&6565&ASP&Enontekio&Enontekio Airport\\ CYEV&68.3042&-133.4830&6/24&6000&ASP&Inuvik&Inuvik Mike Zubko Airport\\ ESNQ&67.8220&20.3368&3/21&8209&ASP&Kiruna&Kiruna Airport\\ CYCO&67.8167&-115.1440&12T/30T&5500&GVL&Kugluktuk&Kugluktuk Airport\\ EFKT&67.7010&24.8468&16/34&8202&ASP&Kittilä&Kittilä Airport\\ UESK&67.4805&153.7364&1/19&5906&concrete&Srednekolymsk&Srednekolymsk Airport\\ ENBO&67.2692&14.3653&7/25&11136&CON&Bodø&Bodø Airport\\ ESUP&67.2456&23.0689&11/29&7552&ASP&&Pajala Airport\\ ESNG&67.1324&20.8146&12/30&5623&ASP&Gällivare&Gällivare Airport\\ BGSF&67.0122&-50.7116&9/27&9219&ASP&Kangerlussuaq&Kangerlussuaq Airport\\ PABT&66.9139&-151.5290&1/19&5190&GVL&Bettles&Bettles Airport\\ PAOT&66.8847&-162.5990&9/27&5900&ASPH-G&Kotzebue&Ralph Wien Memorial Airport\\ USDD&66.5908&66.6110&4/22&8917&CON&Salekhard&Salekhard Airport\\ PFYU&66.5715&-145.2500&4/22&5810&GRVL-G&Fort Yukon&Fort Yukon Airport\\ EFRO&66.5648&25.8304&3/21&9849&ASP&Rovaniemi&Rovaniemi Airport\\ \hline \end{array} $$


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