Geilo Airport, Dagali
|Geilo Airport, Dagali
Geilo lufthavn, Dagali
|IATA: none – ICAO: ENDI|
|Owner||Municipalities of Hol and Nore og Uvdal|
|Operator||Geilo Lufthavn Dagali AS|
|Location||Dagali, Hol, Norway|
|Elevation AMSL||2,618 ft / 798 m|
|Location in Buskerud county|
Geilo Airport, Dagali (Norwegian: Geilo lufthavn, Dagali or Dagali flyplass; ICAO: ENDI) is a private airport located at Dagali in Hol, Norway. It was previously a public airport that was both a regional airport and served international tourist charter airlines serving the nearby ski resorts centered around Geilo. The airport opened in 1985, but failed commercially and was eventually closed in 2003. Originally featuring a 1,300 metres (4,300 ft) runway, it was extended to 1,800 metres (5,900 ft) in 1988, but now only 850 metres (2,790 ft) can still be used for private aircraft. The airport has been converted to a go cart track, though there is still some general aviation at the airport. The commercial services have been moved to Fagernes Airport, Leirin, which opened in 1987. The airport is owned and operated by a company owned by the municipalities of Hol and Nore og Uvdal.
Geilo Airport was opened in 1985 as a regional airport. On 20 June 1986, Coast Aero Center was awarded the concession for flying from Stavanger to Geilo Airport, Dagali until 1991. The airline put into service a Beechcraft 200 Super King Air. At the same time, Norving started operations to Oslo. The ridership from Geilo turned out to be insufficient to make a profit, and both Coast Aero Center and Norving terminated their routes. Widerøe and Norsk Air said there was not enough ridership for them to be interested. In 1989, Coast Air received a one-year concession to operate from Geilo to Oslo and Stavanger. The company used de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter aircraft. The service was soon limited to two round trips each week.
In 1988, construction of a runway expansion from 1,300 to 1,800 metres (4,300 to 5,900 ft) was started, allowing the airport to be served by jet aircraft in international charter traffic. The NOK 15.3 million investment would be financed through a municipal and county-guaranteed loan. Since 1984, the owners had hoped that the airport would become part of a state financing scheme that secured both guarantees for the operation of the airport, as well as subsidies to scheduled traffic. Geilo never received such status, unlike the nearby Fagernes Airport, Leirin which opened in 1987. By 1992, the mayors of Hol and Nore og Uvdal, the municipalities who owned the airport, admitted that it had been a mistake to build the airport. There were less than 1,000 passengers annually, and the scheduled traffic with Coast Air cost the municipalities NOK 1 million per year. In addition came the operating deficit of the airport itself. The company Norcharter had been created by Hol and Nore og Uvdal, along with private investors, but it failed to increase ridership, despite spending NOK 8 million on marketing the region and the airport.
From 1 January 1996, twenty-six municipally-owned airports were taken over by the Norwegian Civil Aviation Administration (now Avinor). Geilo Airport was not among these, but received a NOK 1.5 million annual grant from the state. Following Norway's entry into the Schengen Agreement in 2000, more money had to be invested in the airport to rebuilt it to meet immigration requirements. In 2002, the airport set a new record with 8,870 passengers. From 1 June 2003, a new company, Geilo Lufthavn Drift A/S, made an agreement to take over operations of the airport. But the airport was temporally closed from April to September, and the new company chose to not reopen the airport afterward. The airport has since been turned into a go cart track, but private aircraft can use 850 by 20 metres (2,790 by 66 ft) of the runway.
Incidents and accidents
- On 25 April 1992, the pilot and passenger of a Cessna 172, en route from Molde Airport, Årø to Geilo, were killed when the aircraft crashed two kilometers east of Dagali.
- On 18 October 1992, a Piper PA-24 Comanche crashed after losing motor power at 2,300 metres (7,500 ft) altitude. The plane became a total wreck, but the pilot managed to get out after the emergency landing with only a few scratches.
- On 19 March 1993, a Beechcraft Super King Air from Trønderfly crashed 4.3 kilometres (2.7 mi) from the airport while attempting to land. Three people were killed in the accident.
- "Flyrute Dagali – Stavanger" (in Norwegian). Norwegian News Agency. 20 June 1986.
- "Trolig slutt med rutetrafikk på Dagali flyplass" (in Norwegian). Norwegian News Agency. 12 June 1986.
- "Coast Air får prøvedrift på fire flyruter" (in Norwegian). Norwegian News Agency. 3 April 1989.
- "Klart for utbygging på Dagali flyplass" (in Norwegian). Norwegian News Agency. 15 January 1988.
- "Dagali Øst del 1" (in Norwegian). Hol Municipality. 25 November 1981. Retrieved 2 April 2010.
- "Flyplasser i pengekrise". Dagens Næringsliv (in Norwegian). 18 August 1992. p. 28.
- "Ordføreren speider etter flyene - som aldri kommer til Dagali". Dagens Næringsliv (in Norwegian). 7 September 1992. p. 15.
- "Staten skal overta regionale flyplasser" (in Norwegian). Norwegian News Agency. 6 April 1995.
- Valderhaug, Rune (2 February 2000). "Koster flyplassene 150 mill.". Bergens Tidende (in Norwegian).
- "!". Verdens Gang (in Norwegian). 15 January 2003. p. 36.
- "Geilo Lufthavn Dagali åpner ikke igjen" (in Norwegian). Norwegian News Agency. 27 May 2003.
- "Pilotinfo" (in Norwegian). Geilo Lufthavn Drift. Archived from the original on June 9, 2007. Retrieved 21 January 2010.
- "To drept i flystyrt i Dagali" (in Norwegian). Norwegian News Agency. 25 April 1992.
- "Styrtet fra 2300 m". Verdens Gang (in Norwegian). 19 October 1992.
- "Styrtet med begge motorene på" (in Norwegian). Norwegian News Agency. 19 March 1993.