|Kangerlussuaq Airport (SFJ)
|IATA: SFJ – ICAO: BGSF|
|Location||Kangerlussuaq, Qeqqata, Greenland|
|Elevation AMSL||165 ft / 50 m|
|Source: Danish AIS
Statistics from airport.
Kangerlussuaq Airport (Greenlandic: Mittarfik Kangerlussuaq, Danish: Søndre Strømfjord Lufthavn) (IATA: SFJ, ICAO: BGSF) is an airport in Kangerlussuaq, a settlement in the Qeqqata municipality in central-western Greenland. Alongside Narsarsuaq Airport, it is one of only two civilian airports in Greenland large enough to handle large airliners. It is located away from the coast, and hence less prone to fog and wind in comparison with other airports in Greenland. Kangerlussuaq Airport is the international hub for Air Greenland. The Kangerlussuaq area has very few inhabitants, around 500, so few passengers have their origin or destination here. Most passengers change plane.
An airport was first built here by the US military in 1941, under the name Bluie West-8, later renamed Sondrestromfjord Air Base and Sondrestrom Air Base.
In the 1950s, transatlantic civilian flights began using the air base for refuelling. This use fell off in the 1960s as airliners gained greater range, but the base became the hub of Greenland air traffic.
The airport was handed over to civilian Greenlandic control in 1992.
At a late 2011 Air Greenland meeting, plans to move the main Greenland intercontinental air hub away from Kangerlussuaq were agreed upon. According to the 2011 plan three 1,199-meter airstrips will be built, a new airport at Qaqortoq, and extensions at Nuuk, and Ilulissat, and probably later new airports at Tasiilaq and Ittoqqortoormiit. These planned airstrips will be too short to host intercontinental flights, and a new 1,799-meter airstrip must be built before Kangerlussuaq can be closed. The main candidates for a new intercontinental airport are presently Nuuk and Qaqortoq. Alongside Kangerlussuaq, the airports at Narsarsuaq and Kulusuk (if Tasiilaq is built) will also be closed. Generally, a number of the airstrips have been built by the US defence at locations not near any major settlement, partly based on a Danish policy to hide the US presence in Greenland.
Airlines and destinations
|Air Greenland||Aasiaat, Copenhagen, Ilulissat, Maniitsoq, Narsarsuaq, Nerlerit Inaat, Nuuk, Sisimiut
Summer only: Reykjavik-Domestic
|Greenland Express||Aalborg, Copenhagen, Keflavik|
Access to several research camps on the Greenland ice sheet, including the Danish field camp North GRIP and the American Summit Camp, is handled through Kangerlussuaq via the 109th Airlift Wing of the New York Air National Guard.
The terminal is open for 24 hours during summer. Hotel Kangerlussuaq, with a 70-room capacity and a restaurant, is located within the terminal building of the airport, providing accommodation for transferring passengers. Other amenities include a night-club and a self-service bar during daytime. Several tourism outfitters share an office in the terminal, alongside the Tourist Office.
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