Kulusuk Airport

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Kulusuk Airport
Mittarfik Kulusuk
Kulusuk-airport-terminal-profile.jpg
Kulusuk Airport, terminal
IATA: KUSICAO: BGKK
Summary
Airport type Public
Operator Mittarfeqarfiit
Serves Kulusuk, Greenland
Elevation AMSL 117 ft / 36 m
Coordinates 65°34′25″N 037°07′25″W / 65.57361°N 37.12361°W / 65.57361; -37.12361Coordinates: 65°34′25″N 037°07′25″W / 65.57361°N 37.12361°W / 65.57361; -37.12361
Map
BGKK is located in Greenland
BGKK
BGKK
Location in Greenland
Runways
Direction Length Surface
m ft
11/29 1,199 3,934 Gravel
Statistics (2012)
Passengers 14,738
Source: Danish AIS[1]

Kulusuk Airport (Greenlandic: Mittarfik Kulusuk) (IATA: KUSICAO: BGKK) is an airport in Kulusuk, a settlement on an island of the same name off the shore of the North Atlantic in the Sermersooq municipality in southeastern Greenland.

Airlines and destinations[edit]

Airlines Destinations
Air Greenland Nuuk, Tasiilaq
Air Iceland Reykjavík-Domestic

Bottlenecks[edit]

Air Greenland Bell 212 helicopter approaching Kulusuk Airport on the way from Tasiilaq
International terminal

Unlike the heliport in Tasiilaq on the nearby Ammassalik Island, the airport in Kulusuk can serve STOL aircraft, thus functioning as a mini-hub for Tasiilaq.[2]

Air Greenland de Havilland Canada Dash 7, "Papikkaaq", serving the Kulusuk-Nuuk route across the Greenland ice sheet

Given the increasing number of passengers travelling through the airport due to connections provided by Air Iceland, both domestic to Nerlerit Inaat Airport and international to Iceland, the number of fixed-schedule helicopter flights to Tasiilaq[3] is not sufficient to cover demand, due to a single Bell 212 helicopter of Air Greenland stationed at the airport.[4]

Before Air Greenland took over Air Alpha, flights had been operated on-demand by two helicopters. The problem is acknowledged by Air Greenland, however the final decision regarding expansion belongs to the Government of Greenland.[4]

Facilities[edit]

Air Greenland "Papikkaaq" on the tarmac under the Qalorujoorneq mountain

There is no deicing equipment at the airport, which is costly and problematic in Greenlandic winter.[5] The terminal building hosts a small cafeteria, and a duty-free stand in the departures/arrivals hall. Accessible restrooms are available.

Transfers[edit]

Access to the departures hall is limited due to the need to screen purchases at the duty-free. Passengers are only allowed to pass through the hall immediately before boarding, resulting in a lack of separation between arriving and departing passengers in the waiting check-in hall. Most arrivals and departures are synchronized in time to facilitate transfers between Air Iceland passengers and Air Greenland paseengers bound for Nuuk and Tasiilaq (and to several settlements in the area from there).

The waiting hall is not sufficient to accommodate all passengers, resulting in a pre-boarding chaos.[6] Most flights are delayed due to the policy of deferring departures until all transferring passengers have been distributed to their respective flights, one flight at a time.

History[edit]

The airstrip was built by the US defense in 1956, in order to support a Distant Early Warning Line station. The defense station was closed in 1991. Like some other airports in Greenland it was not built at a location suitable for civilian travel, i.e. not near the local major settlement.

Future[edit]

The are political discussions on building a new airport at Tasiilaq, the major settlement in the region, and to close the Kulusuk Airport.[7]

Accidents and incidents[edit]

  • On 2 July 1972, Douglas C-47B F-WSGU of Rousseau Aviation was damaged beyond economic repair in an accident.[8]
  • On 20 April 1985, a problem was encountered with the additional fuel tanks that an Fokker F27 Friendship (registered YN-BZF) had been fitted with for the delivery flight to Aeronica from Europe to Nicaragua. The pilots decided to return to Kulusuk Airport in Greenland, the place of their most recent fuel stop, but failed to do so. The aircraft crashed on a snow-covered strip, killing two of the five occupants.[9]

Photographs[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ BGKK – Kulusuk Airport (PDF). Greenlandic Aeronautical Information Publication from Statens Luftfartsvæsen (CAA-DK).
  2. ^ Air Greenland destination overview, with a photograph of the runway
  3. ^ "Booking system". Air Greenland. Retrieved 9 June 2010. 
  4. ^ a b "Utilfredse Air Greenland-kunder". Sermitsiaq (in Danish). 12 April 2010. Retrieved 17 May 2010. 
  5. ^ "Defective equipment costs Air Greenland millions". Sermitsiaq. 18 November 2008. Retrieved 17 May 2010. 
  6. ^ O'Carroll, Etain (2005). Greenland and the Arctic. Lonely Planet. p. 206. ISBN 1-74059-095-3. 
  7. ^ Kangerlussuaq lukkes (in Danish)
  8. ^ "F-WGSU Accident description". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 5 September 2010. 
  9. ^ http://aviation-safety.net/database/record.php?id=19850420-1