Ilulissat Airport

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Ilulissat Airport
Mittarfik Ilulissat
Ilulissat Lufthavn
Airport type Public
Owner Greenland Airport Authority
Serves Ilulissat, Greenland
Location Ilulissat, Qaasuitsup Greenland
Hub for
Elevation AMSL 95 ft / 29 m
Coordinates 69°14′36″N 051°03′26″W / 69.24333°N 51.05722°W / 69.24333; -51.05722Coordinates: 69°14′36″N 051°03′26″W / 69.24333°N 51.05722°W / 69.24333; -51.05722
JAV is located in Greenland
Location within Greenland
Direction Length Surface
m ft
07/25 845 2,772 Asphalt
Statistics (2012)
Passengers 41,965
Aircraft movements 3,154
Source: Danish AIS[1]
Statistics from airport[2]

Ilulissat Airport (Greenlandic: Mittarfik Ilulissat, Danish: Ilulissat Lufthavn) (IATA: JAVICAO: BGJN) is an airport located near the shores of Disko Bay, 1.5 NM (2.8 km; 1.7 mi) north-east[1] of Ilulissat, a town in the Qaasuitsup municipality in western Greenland. It was built in 1983,[3] replacing the old heliport.[4]

Airlines and destinations[edit]

Airlines Destinations
Air Greenland Aasiaat, Kangerlussuaq, Nuuk, Qaanaaq, Qaarsut, Sisimiut, Upernavik[5]
Seasonal: Qasigiannguit, Qeqertarsuaq
Settlement Flights: Ilimanaq, Qeqertaq, Saqqaq[5]
Air Iceland Reykjavík (Domestic Airport)

Air Greenland operates government contract flights to villages in the Disko Bay area. These mostly cargo flights are not featured in the timetable, although they can be pre-booked.[6] Departure times for these flights as specified during booking are by definition approximate, with the settlement service optimized on the fly depending on local demand for a given day. Settlement flights in the Disko Bay and Aasiaat archipelago areas are operated only during winter and spring. During summer and autumn, communication between settlements is by sea only, serviced by Diskoline.[7]

Airport expansion[edit]

The purpose of Ilulissat Airport has been debated in Greenland for decades; there has been pressure for runway extension from the local tourist industry and municipal authorities.[8] An expansion considering constructing a new airport in Ilulissat is in progress. The expansion of the airport will feature a (2,800 m (9,186 ft)) runway to let the airport receive direct international airliner flights from mainland Europe and the Americas.[9] The airport will then join or even replace Kangerlussuaq Airport as a primary hub, effectively becoming an international gateway to western and northwestern Greenland. There is a general debate on extending or replacing most airports in Greenland, since most are ill located former air bases, or very short.

Accidents and incidents[edit]

On 29 January 2014, a De Havilland DHC-8 operated by Air Greenland (Flight 3205) suffered substantial damage in a landing accident, causing three injuries. On landing, the left main gear collapsed and the plane skidded down a slope and came to a rest near the perimeter fence. [10]


A panoramic view of Ilulissat Airport in August

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b BGJN – Ilulissat Airport (PDF). Greenlandic Aeronautical Information Publication from Statens Luftfartsvæsen (CAA-DK).
  2. ^ Operationer og pax 2012-1988.xls
  3. ^ Air Greenland, History
  4. ^ O'Carroll, Etain (2005). Greenland and the Arctic. Lonely Planet. pp. 172, 177. ISBN 1-74059-095-3. 
  5. ^ a b "Booking system". Air Greenland. Retrieved 9 June 2010. 
  6. ^ Air Greenland, fare system rules
  7. ^ Diskoline timetable
  8. ^ "Mayors calling for airport improvements". Sermitsiaq. 10 September 2008. Retrieved 17 May 2010. 
  9. ^ "OPLEV VERDEN, OG LAD VERDEN OPLEVE OS". Qaasuitsup (in Danish). October 2014. Retrieved 4 December 2014. 
  10. ^