IPF (International Polar Foundation) confirmed on Monday that an expedition led by its president, Alain Hubert, is leaving for Antarctica on Tuesday. Alain Hubert’s expedition to Antarctica was announced at the end of last September. He is scheduled to stay there until the end of February 2016, according to IPF. However, a court ruling dated October 21st 2015 denied access to the Princess Elisabeth Antarctica Research Station to IPF and to its president. “Alain Hubert will of course respect the prohibition and stay away from the station,” explains IPF, without going into the matter further.
No information was released as to where Mr. Hubert will be based in Antarctica or what the objective of his expedition is. The office of the Secretary of State for Science Policy says they know nothing of the trip. “We can only confirm that the Foreign Office informed actors from the various countries present in Antarctica that Mr. Hubert had been banned from the Research Station and asked them not to give him access to the site,” revealed Mrs. Sleurs’ spokesperson, Luc Demullier.
At the same time, members of the official Belgian expedition to Antarctica will start leaving from Brussels Airport on November 7th. Participants will fly to Cape Town first, and then onwards on November 10th to the Polar Base. They are scheduled to start arriving on November 11th. 12 people will take part in this first trip: 4 members of AntarctiQ Ltd, 7 from the Ministry of Defence, and Chiara Montanari, the expedition leader. 31 people in total will travel to the Polar Base, including 9 scientists. This expedition should also last until next February.
Lars Andersen (Source: Belga)