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CASIE Logistics - Local Information

General Information for Norway

Weather and Climate: Average summer temperature is around 5 C, with maximum temperatures up to 13 C. High winds and fog do occur. In Svalbard, there is continuous daylight from April 19th to August 23rd.

Visas: No visas are required in Norway for U.S. citizens. May be required for other U.S. permanent residents.

Money: Current exchange rate is approximately 6.6 Norwegian kroner (NOK)/dollar as of 4/3/09. Prices in Norway are VERY high; expect to pay about 1.5-2 times what you would in the U.S. Credit cards are accepted everywhere.

Power: 220-230 V, 50 Hz.

Language: Official language is Norwegian. English is almost universally spoken, and is the lingua franca in Ny-Ålesund.

Country Code & Time: Norway country code is 47. To get access to the USG calling card (Qwest 'Networx's) calling system, dial 800-12-184. Svalbard is on Central European Time, 1 hour ahead of GMT, 9 hours ahead of PST/PDT.

USG Per diem: $185/163 for Norway as of 4/1/09.

Communications: Ny-Ålesund is a 'radio silent' area, and cell phones and wireless networks (including all Blue Tooth devices) are not permitted within a 20 km radius of the facility. It is OK to use an Iridium sat phone.

Other: Because of snow in the winter and mud in the summer, it is the custom in Svalbard to remove your shoes before entering most public and private buildings. Consider bringing slippers, sneakers, etc. for indoor use.

Health and Safety: There is no doctor or medical facility at Ny-Ålesund. Some of the staff has first aid training. There is a small medical supply office in the Service Building, and a few non-prescription medications are available for sale. Medical emergencies are evacuated by helicopter to Longyearbyen (30 min away by air, about one hour response time). Travelers should definitely take whatever prescription and over-the-counter medications, along with first aid supplies, they might need during the deployment.

Local Transportation: Very limited options here. We may be able to rent one vehicle here for both moving the aircraft round the airfield, and for transport back & forth to the settlement. We might want to consider bringing a couple of bicycles, though the weather may not be so great for this.