NZ Site Survey

HIPPO Site Survey

14 - 20 December 2008, Christchurch NZ

Updated - 11 February 2009

We met with Phil Ambler, Manager of Terminal Operations here at Raytheon Polar Services (NZ) Limited.  He is our main contact point for HIPPO.  Contact information is as follows:

Phil Ambler

38 Orchard Road

Private Bag 4747

Christchurch, New Zealand

011 64 3 358 1470

Raytheon Polar Services is only minutes away from the Christchurch International Airport on Orchard Road.  The entire facility is closed off to the outside. Entrance is through Gate 3, where we had to check in with the Security Guard and show our drivers license to get a visitor pass. Parking is very limited at the gate (3 slots) and only allowed for a total of 30 minutes; we are allowed to park for free on the other side of the road in front of the USAP administrative services building. 

(1) United States Antarctic Program (Raytheon) Facilities:

No hangar is available at Raytheon. The GV will be parked on the USAP ramp.  Access to the apron will require use of a key code.  Access will be to the GV only and wandering on the apron is not allowed.  There is a chance that security may stop people and ask for aircraft affiliation, i.e., a crew manifest. The crew manifest will be onboard the GV if this happens. Access to the GV is a short walk-across, so no crew bus is needed. 

Workspace with a couple of benches and chairs will be available in short walking distance from the GV. The HIPPO cargo, which was sent in fall through California, is on site and will be moved into the workspace for easy access. 

Access to the Raytheon work area, including the GV, is 24/7. 

Action Items:

•    Phil needs list of all personnel arriving at USAP prior to arrival in Christchurch.  USAP only needs everybody-s name and organization but no passport or social security numbers.  The list will be provided to security at the gate to allow access to hangars, ramp and conference rooms.  PMO (Vidal) already collected this information and we will forward the list to Phil.

•    EOL staff to purchase a couple of two-tank gas cylinder carts and for use during HIPPO.  They are available right next to the gas provider at a large Home-Depot like store for about $50/piece.

•    Reflective jackets need to be worn at all times when accessing the GV; RAF may want to bring their own, Raytheon will provide them for everybody else.

Support Equipment:

Raytheon will make power carts available for preflight and maintenance days without charge.  Forklift(s) and B1 maintenance stands are also available through Raytheon for removing PANTHER and inspecting inlets on top of the fuselage.


If you ship any equipment to New Zealand, please provide a copy of your packing lists to Vidal and also send an email, including a copy of the Air Waybill, to, so that they are aware of the shipment and can look out for it.

For your return shipments, please consider the following:

  1. (1) We suggest that each group prepares return shipping labels ahead of time so that they can easily be attached to the boxes that are being returned.  Adhesive labels will work best.  Please use big, bold letters.
  2. (2) Also needed is a commercial invoice (1 original, 2 copies) that describes the content and value of the equipment (see template). 
  3. (3) If you plan on using FedEx (or DHL), which are both located near the airport, it is helpful to fill out International Air Waybill (AWB) forms ahead of time.  Only one AWB per shipment is needed.  Please also make sure that you know the Sender's FedEx Account Number as well as the name in which the FedEx Account is under.  If you need additional copies of an international AWB, these can be picked up at the main Christchurch FedEx Office on Ron Guthrey Road, which is open from 9 am to 5 pm (Mon - Fri). Ron Guthrey Rd is located just off Memorial Avenue between Orchard Rd and Russley Rd.
  4. (4) The FedEx number to call to arrange for a pick up at USAP is 0800 733 339.  Arrangements can only be made by phone, not by stopping by the main office.  Pick-up arrangements should be made about one day before the scheduled pick up or no later than 10 am the same day.  The FedEx truck will have to enter through Gate 3, so the guards will have to be informed ahead of time.  The pick up address is 38 Orchard Road.

Operations Support:

  • USAP will arrange for spraying, customs and immigration. We don-t need to worry about any of these handling services. 
  • Fuel is available through Air BP.  Phil was not aware of World Fuel support in Christchurch. 
  • Lavatory services and landing fees are easiest to charge to a credit card. Catering services are also available.
  • There is a flight planning office on premises with flight planners available. We can file our own plans if we prefer but they can help if we want.

Arrival frequency is 122.5 for "Deep Freeze Operations".

Action Items: 

  • Spraying the aircraft is a requirement by NZ. CONSULT WITH SCIENTISTS ASAP (done).
  • Phil also was certain that spraying will be done in Pago Pago.  RAF to notify FBO in Pago-Pago that quarantine personnel will have access to aircraft about 25 min after the aircraft comes to a stop at the airport (post-flight instrument shutdown).
  • Phil needs a heads-up when the GV is leaving Pago; Pavel will call him from aircraft the day we leave.
  • If we do want involvement of the flight planning office, we need to request flight planning by E-mailing Mike Scheuermann (
  • Gerry to check on World Fuel in NZ.


Air Liquide, which merged with ASCOGAS Ltd will be able to provide the necessary gases and dry ice needed.  Air Liquide is the main supplier for USAP.  Address is as follows:

Air Liquide NZ, Ltd.

7 Canterbury Street

Hornby,  Christchurch

Phone:        0800 838 838 /  (03) 344 6033

Fax: (03) 344 6031

Contact: Dennis Charlett, South Island Regional Manager

Mobile #:  027 222 5043 (for urgent deliveries out of hours or over Christmas/New Year stat holidays)

We talked to Malcolm ("Corky"), who suggested that all orders should be made at least one week before the gases are needed on site.  If there are any special requirements, they receive deliveries from Auckland every Monday or Tuesday.  Regulators are Type 50 for nitrogen but the company supplies adaptors as necessary for free.  We suggest taking dewars directly over to Air Liquide since we need much smaller quantities of liquid nitrogen than what they provide.

Dry ice and necessary gases are also available from


21 Epsom Road

Sockburn, Christchurch, Canterbury 8042

Phone:        0800 111 333 

Fax: (03) 3430463

Office/Conference Room Facilities at the Antarctic International Centre:

USAP has two conference rooms, some office space and a computer café available, but they are all located across the street in a different building.  This space is only accessible during normal working hours and only on weekdays.  (0730 to 1700).

Action Item:

•    Phil needs an E-mail request if we want to use one of the USAP conference rooms during the week.

Hotel Arrangements:

USAP has arrangements with several hotels and motels in town for reduced rates.  USAP offered to book hotel rooms for all HIPPO participants at the USAP reduced rate. The person in charge is Janice Sloan (  We strongly suggest coordinating all reservations through PMO. 

The RAF GV crew will stay at the Copthorne Hotel Commodore on 449 Memorial Avenue, which is about 2km from USAP.   We paid NZ$175 per night, which was not the USAP rate.  The hotel is modern, friendly, and quiet.  Internet will be free if booked through USAP (2048 Kbsp) otherwise it is NZ$20/day; there are complimentary bus passes to go downtown, which takes about 20 minutes.  Talking the taxi downtown is $25 each way. They also have a complimentary shuttle to the airport and USAP.    Full breakfast for USAP guests is NZ$12.50 for the all inclusive breakfast.  A small conference room (Mainland Room) is available for $150 to 200/half day but we need to let management know fairly soon when and if we want to use this room.  While there are some fast food restaurants in nearby shopping areas, we did not find any local restaurants nearby.  A New World grocery store is 5 km down the road from the hotel. 

We also checked out the Chateau on the Park, which is about 7 km closer to downtown.  While quiet and located right next to Hagley Park, it appears older and the rooms are smaller.  Internet will be about $20/day even through USAP, the conference room rate is $220/half day and $300/day and breakfast costs $25.

While USAP lists other choices, which are in downtown Christchurch, they are either above government per diem, charge extra for parking, have no shuttle service to the airport or are listed as noisy.

Action Item:

Phil asked to be cc-ed on any emails requesting accommodations for staff.

Mobile Phone Rental:

Mobile phones are available from eBlahBlah at 77 Cathedral Square.  Minimum charge is $3 per day for a minimum of 7 days.  A $120 deposit is required and they only take credit cards.   Call rates are as follows:

-    all incoming calls are free

-    call to NZ land lines and Vodafone Mobiles are 0.49/min

-    calls to Telecom Mobiles is $1.39/min

-    Calls to the US, Australia, Canada, Ireland and the UK are $0.49/min

-    Calls to the rest of the world are $1.39/min

-    Text messages are $0.30 overseas and within NZ $0.20


For those coming to NZ by commercial airline, please remember the following:

•    A round-trip ticket is required to enter NZ; a printout of your travel iteniary is acceptable.                            •    Exchange your United Airline boarding pass with the Air NZ boarding pass in LA at the Air NZ business counter.

•    The airline will check all baggage through to Christchurch, where you will clear customs.

•    NZ is very strict about bringing in any kind of food.  If at all possible, avoid it.

•    Rental cars (Hertz, Triffty, National etc) are all available at the airport.  We strongly suggest paying for the additional insurance since driving on the left side takes some getting used to.

•    When leaving the country, a departure form has to be filled out before going through customs.

•    The weather is quite variable - bring a rain jacket or an umbrella.

Brigitte Baeuerle and Pavel Romashkin