Oslo Airport, Gardermoen
|Oslo Airport, Gardermoen
|IATA: OSL – ICAO: ENGM|
|Operator||Oslo Lufthavn AS (part of Avinor)|
|Location||Gardermoen, Ullensaker, Akershus|
|Elevation AMSL||681 ft / 208 m|
|Location in Akershus county|
Oslo Airport (Norwegian: Oslo Lufthavn; IATA: OSL, ICAO: ENGM), is the principal airport serving Oslo, the capital of and most populous city in Norway. Oslo is also served by the low-cost Torp Airport and Rygge Airport. Oslo Airport acts as the main domestic hub and international airport for Norway, and is the second-busiest airport in the Nordic countries. Being a hub for Scandinavian Airlines, an operating base for Norwegian Air Shuttle, and a focus city for Widerøe, it connects to 30 domestic and more than 113 international destinations. Almost 23 million passengers traveled through the airport in 2013, making Oslo Airport the seventeenth-busiest airport in Europe.
The airport is located 19 nautical miles (35 km; 22 mi) northeast of Oslo, at Gardermoen in the municipality of Ullensaker, in Akershus county. It has two parallel roughly north–south runways measuring 3,600 metres (11,811 ft) and 2,950 metres (9,678 ft) and 71 aircraft stands, of which 34 have jet bridges. The airport is connected to the city center by the high-speed railway Gardermoen Line served by mainline trains and Flytoget. The ground facilities are owned by Oslo Lufthavn AS, a subsidiary of the state-owned Avinor. Also at the premises is Gardermoen Air Station, operated by the Royal Norwegian Air Force. An expansion with a new terminal building and a third pier is scheduled to open in 2017. Oslo Airport is the largest and busiest of three major international airports located around Oslo. The others are Torp in the southwest and Rygge in the southeast.
The airport location was first used by the Norwegian Army from 1740, with the first military airport facilities being built during the 1940s. The airport remained a secondary reserve and airport for chartered flights to Oslo Airport, Fornebu until 8 October 1998, when the latter was closed and an all-new Oslo Airport opened at Gardermoen, at the expense of 11.4 billion Norwegian kroner (NOK).
- 1 History
- 2 Facilities
- 3 Organization
- 4 Airlines and destinations
- 5 Statistics
- 6 Ground transportation
- 7 Plans
- 8 The name
- 9 Controversies
- 10 See also
- 11 References
- 12 External links
Military and secondary
The Norwegian–Danish army started using Gardermoen as a camp in 1740, although it was called Fredericksfeldt until 1788. It was first used by the cavalry, then by the dragoons and in 1789 by the riding marines. The base was also taken into use by the infantry from 1834 and by the artillery from 1860. Tents were solely used until 1860, when the first barracks and stalls were taken into use. Isolated buildings were built around 1900, allowing the camp to be used year-round. By 1925, the base had eleven camps and groups of buildings. The first flight at Gardermoen happened in 1912, and Gardermoen became a station for military flights. However, only fields and dirt surfaces were used.
During the occupation of Norway by Nazi Germany, the Luftwaffe took over Gardermoen, and built the first proper airport facilities with hangars and two crossing runways, both 2,000 metres (6,600 ft) long. After World War II, the airport was taken over by the Norwegian Air Force and made the main air station. Three fighter and one transport squadron were stationed at the Gardermoen.
In 1946, Braathens SAFE established their technical base at the airport, but left two years later. Gardermoen also became the reserve airport for Oslo Airport, Fornebu, when the latter was closed due to fog. From 1946 to 1952, when a longer runway was built at Fornebu, all intercontinental traffic was moved to Gardermoen. Gardermoen grew up as a training field for the commercial airlines and as local airport for general aviation. Some commercial traffic returned again in 1960, when SAS received its first Sud Aviation Caravelle jet aircraft, that could not use the runway at Fornebu until it was extended again in 1962. SAS introduced a direct flight to New York in 1962, but it was quickly terminated.
In 1972, capacity restraints forced the authorities to move all charter traffic from Fornebu to Gardermoen. However, SAS and Braathens SAFE were allowed to keep their charter services from Fornebu, so they would not have to operate from two bases. A former hangar was converted to a terminal building and in 1974 passenger numbers were at 269,000 per year. In 1978, SAS started a weekly flight to New York. In 1983, further restrictions were enforced, and also SAS and Braathens SAFE had to move their charter operations to Gardermoen, increasing passenger numbers that year to 750,000. Several expansions of runway were made after the war, and by the 1985-extension the north-south runway was 3,050 metres (10,010 ft).
The first airports to serve Oslo was Kjeller Airport that opened in 1912 and Gressholmen Airport that served seaplanes after its opening in 1926. Norway's first airline, Det Norske Luftfartrederi, was founded in 1918 and the first scheduled fights were operated by Deutsche Luft Hansa to Germany with the opening of Gressholmen. In 1939, a new combined air and land airport opened at Fornebu. It was gradually expanded, with a runway capable of jet aircraft opening in 1962 and a new terminal building in 1964. But due to its location on a peninsula about 8 kilometres (5.0 mi) from the city center and close to large residential areas, it would not be possible to expand the airport sufficiently to meet all foreseeable demand in the future. Following the 1972 decision to move charter traffic to Gardermoen, politicians were forced to choose between a "divided solution" that planners stated would eventually force all international traffic to move to Gardermoen, or to build a new airport.
Gardermoen had been proposed as a main airport for Oslo and Eastern Norway as early as 1946, both by the local newspaper Romerikes Blad and by Ludvig G. Braathen, who had just founded Braathens SAFE. In 1970, a government report recommended that a new main airport be built at Hobøl, but stated that the time was still not right. The areas were therefore reserved. During the 1970s, it became a political priority by the socialist and center parties to reduce state investments in Eastern Norway to stimulate growth in rural areas. In 1983, parliament voted to keep the divided solution permanently, and expand Fornebu with a larger terminal.
By 1985, traffic had increased so much that it became clear that by 1988 all international traffic would have to move to Gardermoen. The areas at Hobøl had been freed up, and a government report was launched recommending that a new airport be built at Gardermoen, although an airport at Hurum had also been surveyed. However, the report did not look into the need of the Air Force that was stationed at Gardermoen, and was therefore rejected by the parliament the following year. In 1988, a majority of the government chose Hurum as their preferred location, and Minister of Transport Kjell Borgen withdrew from his position. In 1989, new weather surveys from Hurum showed unfavorable conditions. There were large protests from meteorologists and pilots who stated that the surveys were manipulated. Two government committees were appointed, and both concluded that there were no irregularities in the surveys.
Since Hurum could no longer be used, the government again recommended Gardermoen as the location. The Conservative Party instead wanted to build at Hobøl, but chose to support the Labour Party government's proposal to get a new airport as quickly as possible. Parliament passed legislation to build the new main airport at Gardermoen on 8 August 1992. At the same time, it was decided that a high-speed railway was to be built to Gardermoen, so the airport would have a 50% public transport market share.
The choice of Gardermoen has spurred controversy, also after the matter was settled in parliament. In 1994, Engineer Jan Fredrik Wiborg, who claimed that falsified weather reports had been made, died after falling from a hotel window in Copenhagen. Circumstances about his death were never fully cleared up and documents about the weather case disappeared. The Standing Committee on Scrutiny and Constitutional Affairs held a hearing about the planning process trying to identify any irregularities. An official report was released in 2001.
To minimize the effect of using state grants to invest in Eastern Norway, parliament decided that the construction and operation of the airport was to be done by an independent limited company that would be wholly owned by the Civil Airport Administration (today Avinor). This model was chosen to avoid having to deal with public trade unions and to ensure that the construction was not subject to annual grants. This company was founded in 1992 as Oslo Hovedflyplass AS, but changed its name in 1996 to Oslo Lufthavn. From 1 January 1997, it also took over the operation of Oslo Airport, Fornebu. The company was established with NOK 200 million in share capital. The remaining assets were NOK 2 billion from the sale of Fornebu and NOK 900 million in responsible debt. The remaining funding would come from debt from the state. Total investments for the airport, railways and roads were NOK 22 billion, of which Oslo Lufthavn would have a debt of NOK 11 billion after completion.
At Gardermoen there was both an air station and about 270 house owners that had their real estate expropriated following parliament's decision. NOK 1.7 billion were used to purchase land, including the Air Force. It was the state that expropriated and bought all the land and remained land owner, while Oslo Lufthavn leases the ground from the state. The first two years were used to demolish and rebuild the air station. This reduced the building area from 120,000 to 41,000 square metres (1,290,000 to 440,000 sq ft), but gave a more functional design.
Construction of the new main airport started on 13 August 1994. The western runway was already in place, and had been renovated by the Air Force in 1989. A new, eastern runway needed to be built. A hill at the airport was blown away, and the masses used to fill in where needed. The construction of the airport and railway required 13,000 man-years. 220 subcontractors were used, and working accidents were at a third of the national average, without any fatalities. The last flights to Fornebu took place on 7 October 1998. That night, 300 people and 500 truckloads transported equipment from Fornebu to Gardermoen. Gardermoen opened on 8 October 1998.
The airlines needed to build their own facilities at Gardermoen. SAS built a complex with 55,000 square metres (590,000 sq ft), including a technical base, cabin storage, garages and cargo terminals, for NOK 1,398 billion. This included a technical base for their fleet of Douglas DC-9 and McDonnell Douglas MD-80-aircraft for NOK 750 million. The cargo handling facility is 21,000 square metres (230,000 sq ft) and was built in cooperation with Posten Norge. SAS also built two lounges in the passenger terminal. Since Braathens had its technical base at Stavanger Airport, Sola, it used NOK 200 million to build facilities. This included a 9,000 square metres (97,000 sq ft) hangar for six aircraft for NOK 100 million.
Parliament decided to build a high-speed airport rail link from Oslo to Gardermoen. The 64-kilometre (40 mi) Gardermoen Line connects Oslo Central Station (Oslo )to Gardermoen and onwards to Eidsvoll. This line was constructed for 210 kilometres per hour (130 mph) and allows the Flytoget train to operate from Oslo Central station to Gardermoen in nineteen minutes. Just like the airport, the railway was to be financed by the users. The Norwegian State Railways (NSB) established a subsidiary, NSB Gardermobanen, which would build and own the railway line, as well as operate the airport trains. The company would borrow money from the state, and repay with the profits from operation. During construction of the Romerike Tunnel, a leak was made that started draining the water from the lakes above. The time and cost to repair the leaks meant that the whole railway line budget become exceeded, and the tunnel would not be taken into use until 1 August 1999. Since the rest of the railway was finished, two trains (instead of the intended six), operated using more time from the opening of the new airport.
The main road corridor northwards from Oslo to Gardermoen is European Route E6. The E6 was upgraded to six lanes north to Hvam, and to four lanes north to Gardermoen. The E6 runs about 6 kilometres (3.7 mi) east of the airport, so 6 kilometres (3.7 mi) of Norwegian National Road 35 was upgraded to four-lane motorway to connect the E6 to the airport. This connection cost NOK 1 billion. After the opening of the airport, National Road 35 was upgraded west of the airport as a two-lane toll road. Also Norwegian National Road 120 and Norwegian National Road 174 were upgraded.
Opening and growth
The first new airline to start scheduled flights was Color Air. The low-cost airline took advantage of the increased capacity that Gardermoen created to start competing with SAS and Braathens on the routes to Bergen, Trondheim and Ålesund. This lasted until October 1999, when Color Air filed for bankruptcy. During this time, all three airlines lost large amounts of money, mainly due to low cabin loads. To win the business market, all three wanted to have the most possible departures per day to other cities.
Gardermoen has had considerable problems with fog and freezing rain, and has several times had a complete close-down. This was also a problem at Fornebu, and reported to be at Hurum as well. On average there is super cooled rain three times per month during the winter. The use of deicing fluids is restricted since the area underneath the airport contains the Tandrum Delta, one of the country's largest uncontained quaternary aquifers (underground water systems). On 14 December 1998, a combination of freezing fog and supercooled rain caused glaze at Gardermoen. At least twenty aircraft engines were damaged by ice during take-off, and five aircraft needed to make precautionary landingss with only one working engine. On 18 January 2006, an Infratek deicing system was set up, that uses infrared heat in large hangar tents. It was hoped that it could reduce chemical deicers by 90%, but the technique has proved unsuccessful.
In 1999, Northwest Airlines briefly operated a flight between Oslo and Minneapolis, United States, for several month before the flight was canceled due to poor load factors. In October 2001, the only remaining intercontinental flight, to New York-Newark, with Scandinavian Airlines's Boeing 767-300 aircraft was discontinued. In 2004, Scandinavian Airlines and Continental Airlines resumed service on this route using Airbus A330 and Boeing 757-200 respectively. There are also regular connections with Pakistan International Airlines to Islamabad and Lahore, Norwegian Air Shuttle to Bangkok, New York - JFK, Fort Lauderdale, Oakland (San Francisco), Los Angeles and Orlando with 787 Dreamliner and Dubai, Agadir and Marrakech with 737-800, and Thai Airways to Bangkok, Qatar Airways to Doha. In 2012, the airport opened a new 650-square-meter (7,000 sq ft) VIP terminal exclusively used for the royal family, the prime minister and foreign heads of state and government.
The airport covers an area of 13 square kilometres (5.0 sq mi) and is modeled partially on Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport, with two parallel runways and a single terminal with two piers on a single line. Non-commercial and practice general aviation is not operated at Oslo Airport, and is mainly done from Kjeller Airport, Rakkestad Airport and Tønsberg Airport, Jarlsberg. Oslo Airport is located 19 nautical miles (35 km; 22 mi) north-northeast of Oslo city center.
The passenger terminal covers 148,000 square metres (1,590,000 sq ft) and is 819 metres (2,687 ft) long. The terminal area has 52 aircraft parking stands, of which 34 are connected with bridges and 18 are remotely parked. Domestic gates are located in the west wing, while gates for international flights are in the east, with gates for non-Schengen area flights at the very end of the wing. Four gates near the end of the east wing are flexigates where doors can be opened or closed to switch between Schengen and non-Schengen flights. EU controllers have been somewhat sceptical of the Schengen/non-Schengen flexigates, and there were a few incidents where the wrong doors were opened so that passengers who should have gone through the border control did not. A new pier that will stick northwards from the terminal is under construction with a projected opening in 2017. To compensate for the gates lost in the interim period, an extra pier south of and parallel to the west wing was constructed in 2012 for domestic flights. This "pier south" has eight gates that all lack jet bridges, and was intended for demolition after five years. The current capacity of 23 million will soon be passed; in 2013, 22.9 million passengers used the airport. The airport is "silent", so announcements for flights are only done in the immediate vicinity of the gate. There is a playground in both the domestic and international sections, and a quiet room in the domestic section. Medical personnel is stationed at the airport.
Because of the airport's customs procedures for connecting passengers (the luggage has to picked up, shown to customs and checked in when connecting from international to domestic flights), some transit passengers, are now avoiding Oslo Airport and finding other routing options when possible. The process of clearing customs before connecting to a domestic flight is however not unique for Oslo Airport, but common all over the world.
About half the airport operator's income is from retail revenue. There are twenty places to eat or drink, in addition to stores and other services including banks and post. In all, 8,000 square metres (86,000 sq ft) are used for restaurants, stores and non-aviation services. The departure duty-free shop is 1,530 square metres (16,500 sq ft) and the largest in Europe. The shop is located in front of the international concourse, taking up a large part of the terminal's width. The airport has attempted to funnel all passengers through the duty-free. Signs that were to hinder passengers from walking outside the duty-free were in 2008 removed after criticism. Arriving passengers have access to a smaller duty-free shop in the baggage claim area.
In addition to the main terminal, the airport operates its own VIP lounge for the Norwegian Royal Family, for members of the Norwegian government and members of foreign royal families and governments. The GA-terminal, located on the west side of the airport, services cargo airlines, executive jets and ambulance aircraft. The airport is heated using district heating with a geothermal source. The airport uses 32.6 GWh/year for heating and 5.6 GWh/year for cooling. In addition, the airport uses 110 GWh/year of electricity.
Art and architecture
Architects were Aviaplan, a joint venture between the agencies Narud Stokke Wiig (now Nordic — Office of Architecture), Niels Torp, Skaarup & Jespersen and Hjellnes Cowi. Main architect was Gudmund Stokke. The terminal building has a light, floating roof that gives a simple construction. First the walls were erected, and a roof put on top. Afterwards, internal facilities could be added. The roof is held up with wooden reefers. The main construction materials are wood, metal and glass. The airlines were required to follow the same design rules for their buildings as the terminal.
The main art on the land side of the airport is Alexis, consisting of six steel sculptures in stainless steel created by Per Inge Bjørlo. On the air side, Carin Wessel used 30,000 metres (98,000 ft) of thread to make the impression of clouds and webs, named Ad Astra. Anna Karin Rynander and Per-Olof Sandberg cooperated in making two installations: The Marathon Dancers, located in the baggage claim area, is a set of two electronic boards that show a dancing person. Sound Refreshment Station, of which six are located in the departure areas, are sound "showers" that make refreshing sounds when a person is immediately under them. Sidsel Westbø has etched the glass walls. In the check-in area, there are small boxes under the floor with glass ceilings that contain curiosities. As well as the custom-made art, several existing sculptures and paintings have been bought. At the National Road 35 and European Route E6 junction, Vebjørn Sand has built a 14-metre (46 ft) statue named the Kepler Star. It consists of two internally illuminated Kepler–Poinsot polyhedrons, appearing like a giant star in the sky after dark.
Runways and air control
The airport has two parallel runways, aligned 01/19. The west runway 01L/19R is 3,600 by 45 metres (11,811 ft × 148 ft), while the east runway 01R/19L is 2,950 by 45 metres (9,678 ft × 148 ft). Both have taxiways, allowing 80 air movements per hour. The runways are equipped with CAT IIIA instrument landing system and the airport is supervised by a 91-metre (299 ft) tall control tower. Once departing aircraft are 15 kilometres (9 mi) away from the airport, responsibility is taken over by Oslo Air Traffic Control Center, which supervises the airspace with Haukåsen Radar. There are two ground radars at the airport, located on the far sides of each of the runways. Both at the gates and along the taxiways, there is an automatic system of lights that guide the aircraft. On the tarmac, these are steered by the radar, while they are controlled by motion sensors at the gate.
There are three deicing platforms. Both fire stations each have three fire cars, and is part of the municipal fire department. Meteorological services are operated by the Norwegian Meteorological Institute, which has 12 weather stations and 16 employees at the airport. This includes Norway's first aeronautic information service and a self-briefing room, in addition to briefings from professionals. Restrictions on air movements apply overnight from 23:00 to 06:00, although permitted if landing from and taking off to the north.
The Royal Norwegian Air Force has an air base at Gardermoen, located at the north side of the passenger terminal at Oslo Airport. The base dates from 1994 and houses the 335-Squadron that operates three Lockheed C-130 Hercules transport planes. The airbase also handles nearly all military freight going abroad. The Air Force has a compact 41,000 square metres (440,000 sq ft) building space, with a maximum walking distance of 400 metres (1,300 ft). The station is built so that it can quickly be expanded if necessary, without having to claim areas used by the civilian section. The military also use the civilian terminals for their passenger transport needs, and send 200,000 people with chartered and scheduled flights from the main terminal each year. The airforce station serves as the main entering point for VIP's and officials going to Norway.
The airport is owned by Oslo Lufthavn AS, a limited company wholly owned by Avinor, a state-owned company responsible for operating 46 Norwegian airports. In 2010, Oslo Lufthavn had a revenue of NOK 3,693 million, giving an income of NOK 1,124 million before tax. The profit from the airport is largely paid to Avinor, who uses it to cross-subsidise operating deficits from smaller primary and regional airport throughout the country. At the end of 2010, Oslo Lufthavn had 439 employees.
The company has a subsidiary, Oslo Lufthavn Eiendom AS, which is responsible for developing commercial real estate around the airport. It owns one airport hotel run by the Radisson Blu chain, the office building and conference center Flyporten, which along with the hotel features 60 conference rooms, and the employee parking lot. A second hotel, Park Inn, was opened in September 2010. The subsidiary had a revenue of NOK 122 million and a profit of 53,1 million in 2010. All telecommunications and information technology services at the airport are provided by Oslo Lufthavn Tele og Data AS, a joint venture between Oslo Lufthavn and Telenor. Aircraft ground handling is provided by four companies: SAS Ground Services, Røros Flyservice, Menzies Aviation and Spirit Air Cargo Handling.
Airlines and destinations
Oslo Airport is connected to 162 airports, of which 30 are domestic. The two main domestic airlines to use Oslo Airport are Scandinavian Airlines System (SAS) and Norwegian Air Shuttle. Oslo Airport's functions, along with the other two Scandinavian capital airports, as a hub for SAS, while it is the main hub for Norwegian. Domestically, SAS and Norwegian Air Shuttle both offer flights to fifteen primary airports. In Southern Norway, the Ministry of Transport and Communications subsidizes the services to eight regional airports based on three-year public service obligations. From 2009 to 2012, these are operated by Danish Air Transport and its subsidiary Danu Oro Transportas, and by Widerøe.
In addition to the range of international services provided by SAS and Norwegian, a span of foreign airlines provide services. Intercontinental flights are offered by United Airlines and SAS to Newark, by Norwegian to Bangkok, Dubai, Fort Lauderdale, Los Angeles, New York City, Orlando and San Francisco, by Thai Airways to Bangkok, by Pakistan International Airlines to Islamabad and Lahore, by Qatar Airways to Doha and Emirates to Dubai.
A wide range of direct charter flights are offered from Oslo Airport, mostly to leisure destinations on the Mediterranean Sea, but also to destinations as far away as Cancun in Mexico, Varadero in Cuba, Phuket and Krabi in Thailand. Large operators based at Oslo Airport include Novair, TUIfly Nordic and Thomas Cook Airlines Scandinavia, although many other also fly.
Oslo Airport has a catchment area of 2.5 million people, including most of Eastern Norway and 0.3 million people in Sweden. In 2013, Oslo Airport served 22,956,540 passengers, 119,881 tonnes (117,988 long tons; 132,146 short tons) of cargo and 234,524 aircraft movements, up from 2012. Within the European Economic Area (EEA) in 2013, Oslo Airport ranked as the seventeenth-busiest overall, and the sixth-busiest in domestic traffic. It is the second-busiest airport in the Nordic countries, after Copenhagen Airport. However, in February 2013, Oslo Airport surpassed Copenhagen airport as the busiest in the Nordic countries for the first month ever. The busiest route is to Trondheim, which with 1.8 million passengers was the tenth-busiest route within the EEA. Along with the domestic routes to Bergen and Stavanger, and the international routes to Copenhagen and Stockholm, Oslo Airport served five of the twenty-five busiest routes in the EEA, all with more than one million passengers.