In turn of the global warming and driven by the constant need for resources an increasing number of commercial and scientific activities conquer the Arctic in order to benefit from almost untouched resources like oil and gas but also from the overwhelming nature. These activities are accompanied by a steadily increasing number of vessels transporting goods but also operating personnel, scientists or tourists. Especially the number of tourists visiting the Arctic can reach far more than 1000 per vessel, resulting in growing headaches for the responsible safety and security authorities in the Arctic surrounding countries. Up to now no suitable Escape, Evacuation and Rescue (EER) concept is in place to cope with these challenges when it comes to hazardous situations.
In this context IMPaC () developed a new and appropriate EER concept for the Arctic, exceeding the currently dominant small and isolated settlements along the coastlines in Denmark (Greenland), Norway, Russia, Canada and the US. One question seems to be central: Is there any requirement and benefit beyond the currently used small rescue station?
Yes, we strongly believe that there is a growing demand for suitable infrastructure coming from various industries. Beyond rescue objectives there is a demand for people working and living in this area all year long, for a few days, weeks or months using these settlements for their specific needs. This led us to the idea of the provision of a common-use infrastructure for multiple industries. The commonly used infrastructure maximizes the use of the remote and very expensive infrastructure and minimizes the impact on the environment in this part of the world.
Potential users of this infrastructure would be:
• Oil & Gas Industry, driven by the increased world energy demand
• Marine Transport & Tourism Industry, driven by declined arctic ice and new sea routes via the Arctic sea
• Fishery Industry
• Scientific community
Any EER concept for the Arctic has to cope with several specific environmental and spatial challenges as addressed by the EU joint research project ACCESS (), where IMPaC participates. The paper introduces the new EER concept and focuses especially on its beneficial, efficient and safe operability in the Arctic recording an increasing number of commercial and scientific activities.