Programmer and Flight Coordinator - White Desert Antarctica

eg. Accountant or Accounting or Kempinski

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The Programmer and Flight Coordinator (PFC) is a member of the White Desert Operations team based in Cape Town.  They are responsible for the coordination of White Desert’s aviation and logistics activities including the maintenance of published flight schedules and seat allocations. They are the central point for daily communications concerning the operation of the flying program and are responsible for the coordination of effective logistic support to Antarctic flights. 

The role is responsible for liaison with internal staff, contracted aircrews, service providers and at times clients.  They will take responsibility for the flight schedule, ensuring Managers are alerted to conflicts or changes.  They will also attend and provide secretariat support to planning meetings that will occur several times a week.  When flights are scheduled, they are responsible for notifying all necessary parties involved with reception, ground transport, flight following, etc.

The position will centralize Cape Town communications with the Aerodrome Manager in Antarctica to streamline and reduce the communications traffic. A significant function of the position will be the collation and promulgation of weather forecasts and data.

Operating hours are largely dictated by suitable weather and flexible work routines are required.  


White Desert Ltd is a UK company based in South African.  The core business is the delivery of small-scale luxury tours of Antarctica. The White Desert deploys to Antarctica from Cape Town and operates a luxury camp in Antarctica on the Schirmacher Oasis in Queen Maud Land called Whichaway Camp. 



The Wolfs Fang Runway is located some 140km inland from Whichaway Camp and provides White Desert direct access to the continent using aircraft charted exclusively for the White Desert operation. A typical season may see 25 flights by a business jet such as a G550 and ten flights by a heavy aircraft such as a B767.  Travel within Antarctica is by two chartered DC-3T Basler aircraft which completed approximately 600hrs of flying each summer.  Ground traverses are also conducted and approximately 5500km with be traversed each summer.

Fuel resupply is via ship, the ice edge is accessed from Wolfs Fang by a multi-day overland traverse.


The PFC  is responsible for:

  • Communications between Cape Town and the WFR Manager regarding flight movements.

  • Maintenance of the flight schedule (inter and intracontinental).

  • Maintaining oversight of key operational resources including:

  • Aircraft seat and payload capacity,

  • Fuel reserves and future needs, and

  • Bed capacity.

  • Identifying windows for intercontinental flights and the coordination and distribution of weather data and forecast products.

  • Coordination of flight arrivals and departures (Cape Town).

  • Scheduling and contribution to planning and coordination meetings.


The Operations Coordinator reports to the COO.  They must be able to identify relevant information to be brought to the attention of Managers for timely decisions.  This includes identifying resource limitations to support plans.  They will then inform the business of those decisions, such as a program or schedule changes, and coordinate the business response. 


The Operations Coordinator will have frequent contact with aircrew, contractors, and staff from National programs near or supporting White Deserts operation.  This contact will include liaison, advice on the anticipated runway and asset availability, schedule changes, and handling inquiries over timings and procedures.





  • Be certified as fit for Antarctic service by White Desert Ltd after tests conducted by a medical practitioner nominated by White Desert Ltd.

  • Demonstrate the range of personal qualities and interpersonal skills necessary to perform within a dynamic and fast-paced environment.

Job Specific Criteria

  • Proven ability to provide effective business communication, both verbal and written.

  • Advanced skills with MS Excel or similar.

  • Strong analytical skills and the ability to recognize priorities to contribute to the achievement of business objectives.

  • Ability to self-manage workloads and competing demands in a time-critical environment.

  • Demonstrated experience in operations coordination of an asset-based enterprise, preferably with decentralized and remote business units.

  • Knowledge and experience in the conduct of aviation or Antarctica operations.

  • Knowledge of weather forecasting systems/products and the ability to interrogate weather model viewers to produce relevant products requested by others.

  • Ability to understand technical regulatory issues as they apply to an operation.

  • Willingness and ability to undertake training to acquire skills and qualifications related to the position.



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