Friday, January 17, 2014

J - 90 / Permit Application in progress. The count-down has begun!

The project has been submitted to the Greenland authorities (Expedition Office, Ministry of Domestic Affairs, Nature and Environment) a few days ago. A permit application is pending. File A-14-23.

Any expedition operating outside populated areas (in green on the map) is subject to authorization by the Government of Greenland.

To obtain this authorization, it must, among other things, meet the following requirements: - An expedition operating in the area covered by the Executive Order no. 138 of 10 February 2010 in North or East Greenland and anywhere on sea ice must obtain SAR insurance as well as an evacuation insurance covering all participants. The SAR insurance must cover the amount of DKK 1,000,000 [130 000 €] with the Danish State as the sole beneficiary if the project or expedition takes place inside the area covered by the Executive Order on remote
travel. An expedition required to have SAR insurance must also for each participant obtain an additional evacuation (ambulance) insurance covering the amount of DKK 600,000 [80 000 €] for expeditions travelling to the far North of the Greenland National Park, above latitude 78 °N

Anecdotally, we have just spent a month and a half, and an unspeakable number of email and phone exchanges, trying to find an insurance company, in France or abroad, willing to insure the expedition. The only solution found so far is a Greenlandic insurer. Amount of insurance between 5500 and 7000 ! Ongoing story ...

- submit a signed bank guarantee [27 000 €], stating that the expedition as a whole has sufficient funds to be able to pay for a possible transport from the icecap to the nearest city. The bank guarantee should be used in situations which are not covered under the SAR and medical evacuation insurance. Some examples are if a participant has overestimated their physical/psychological capacities and thus does not wish to continue the expedition, or if the expedition encounters extensive melt water on the icecap that make a continuation impossible. Basically, all situations that require neither a Search and Rescue operation nor a medical evacuation.

- Give references about emergency beacon [Sarsat], radios and satellite phones carried.

All expeditions are required to bring as a minimum one Personal Locator Beacon (PLB), one portable marine VHF radio and one satellite phone.

Projects and expeditions taking place in uninhabited areas (i.e. outside towns, hamlets, or stations) in North and East Greenland, anywhere on sea ice, or on the Ice Cap are required to bring an approved (certified) emergency radio beacon ('Personal Locator Beacon': PLB).

In addition to the PLB, all expeditions are required to bring a marine VHF radio. Marine VHF radio sets are a combined transmitter and receiver and only operates on standard, international frequencies known as channels. Channel 16 (156.8 MHz) is the international calling and distress channel, which expeditions must use in case of emergency to get in contact with the authorities rescue units (including both marine vessels and helicopters).

Finally, all expeditions are required to bring a satellite phone.

- Carrying a PLB and other radio equipment in Greenland requires a radio permit. To obtain a permit, the radio permit application form must be completed and sent to the Radio Administration, which is the responsible authority.

- Expeditions to the Greenland National Park are obliged to bring a firearm as well as polar bear deterrents. The minimum calibre  for  firearms  is 30.06  (7.62 mm), in accordance with  the Executive Order on the Protection and Hunting of Polar Bears. Be aware that firearms
may only be used in self defence. All expeditions in the National Park must apply for a firearm permit and need to fill out the firearm application form and send it to the responsible authoritythe Chief Constable of Greenland.


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