|IATA: FAE – ICAO: EKVG|
|Operator||Civil Aviation Administration|
|Location||Sørvágur, Faroe Islands|
|Hub for||Atlantic Airways|
|Elevation AMSL||280 ft / 85 m|
|Statistics (2013, 2012)|
Vágar Airport (Faroese: Vága Floghavn, Danish: Vágar Lufthavn) (IATA: FAE, ICAO: EKVG) is the only airport in the Faroe Islands, a self-governing territory of the Kingdom of Denmark, and is located 1 NM (1.9 km; 1.2 mi) east of Sørvágur. Due to the Faroe Islands' exceptional status, the airport is not fully subject to the rules of the European Union. It is the main operating base for Faroese national airline Atlantic Airways and, for a brief period during 2006, was also the base for the low cost airline FaroeJet.
The airport was built by British Royal Engineers during World War II on the island of Vágar. The site was chosen mainly because it was hard to see from the surrounding waters and any potential German warship. The first aeroplane landed here in Autumn 1942. (See British occupation of the Faroe Islands in World War II).
After the war the airfield was abandoned and left unused until 1963 when it was reopened as a civilian airport at the initiative of two Sørvágur residents, Hugo Fjørðoy and Lars Larsen. The two worked with the Icelandic airline Icelandair, which began the scheduled flights to Bergen, Copenhagen and Glasgow using a Douglas DC-3 aircraft. In 1964 a separate airline, Faroe Airways, operated flights, first using chartered aircraft but in 1965 they bought a DC-3 from the Swedish airline Linjeflyg. The company ceased operating on 28 September 1967. Until 2004 Maersk Air was operating some flights to the airport along with Atlantic Airways. Maersk Air flew Boeing 737-500 jetliners into the airport with service to Copenhagen.
Development since the 2000s
Until 2002 travel from the airport to most locations in the Faroe Islands including the capital Tórshavn required a car ferry, but in 2002 a road tunnel was opened giving direct road access.
The runway was extended from 1,250 metres (4,100 ft) to 1,799 metres (5,902 ft) in 2011, allowing more plane types to be used, and further-away destinations to be introduced. Construction work started in May 2010, and on 3 December 2011, the extended runway was opened and put into use for the first time. Previously only short take-off and landing (STOL) aircraft such as the British Aerospace BAe 146 were preferred for use into the airport (although Maersk Air operated flights with Boeing 737-500 aircraft), and then the most distant destination was Copenhagen, 1300 km. The Airbus A319 of Atlantic Airways is able to utilise the extended runway, and services of the type with Atlantic Airways began in March 2012. Tourist summer flights to Barcelona and Milan were introduced. However, in 2014 they decided to stop the routes to Milan and to London. Instead, they chose to fly to Aberdeen and to Mallorca.
A tolled tunnel opened in 2002 connecting Vágar to the neighbouring island of Streymoy, where the Faroese capital Tórshavn is located. A new terminal opened 17 June 2014 with increased passenger capacity.
A number of domestic Faroese destinations can be reached from Vágar by the Atlantic Airways helicopter service. International destinations include Copenhagen, Aalborg and Billund in Denmark, Reykjavík in Iceland, Aberdeen and London in the United Kingdom, Narsarsuaq in Greenland, Bergen and Stavanger in Norway and Barcelona in Spain.
Airlines and destinations
|Atlantic Airways||Bergen, Billund, Copenhagen, Reykjavík-Keflavík
Seasonal: Aalborg, Barcelona, Edinburgh, Palma de Mallorca (begins 20 May 2015, ends 25 August 2015), Stavanger
Charter: Kristiansund, Trondheim
|Atlantic Airways Helicopter||Dímun, Froðba, Hattarvík, Kirkja, Klaksvík, Koltur, Mykines, Skúvoy, Svínoy, Tórshavn|
Helicopter services go to remote islands as well as to the biggest towns. Some of these islands have fewer than 10 inhabitants.
There are bus services about 10 times each direction per day between the airport and Tórshavn. They take one hour. The "Vágatunnilin" tunnel (4.9 km) connects the airport and the Vágar island to the main towns and villages in the Faroe Islands.
Accidents and incidents
- 3 August 1996: a Gulfstream III of the Danish Air Force crashed during final approach to Vágar Airport in bad weather and poor visibility. Nine people, including the Chief of Defence Jørgen Garde and his wife, perished as the aircraft collided with high terrain surrounding the airport.
- 1989: an Atlantic Airways BAe 146–200 (registration OY-CRG, C/n / msn: E2075) aircraft failed to stop at the end of the runway and was subsequently out of service for 3 weeks.
- 26 September 1970: Icelandair Fokker F27 originating in Copenhagen with a stopover in Bergen, Norway. The flight from Bergen to Vágar Airport crashed in bad weather on Mykines. Eight of the 34 passengers lost their lives, and the badly wounded were airlifted away by helicopter. A marble memorial was placed in the Church.
- "Ársfrásøgn 2013". Vága Floghavn. Retrieved 2014-06-18.
- EAD Basic
- AIP Vágar – Faroe Islands
- http://www.airliners.net, photo of Maersk Air Boeing 737-500 at Vagar Airport
- October 1993 Official Airline Guide (OAG) Worldwide edition, Faroe Islands flight schedules
- "A 1.799 m. long runway and terminal for a total of DKK. 412". Oct 2009.
- Celebrating the extended runway
- Atlantic Airways A319 enters service, 28 March. 2012
- Atlantic.fo - Flúgv til Mallorca í summar 2015
- Archived copy of slv.dk's website
- Parlamentet.dk, L 210: Nedbringelse af fondens egenkapital til dækning af omkostninger til bortskaffelse af sprængstof ved Vágar Lufthavn
- Statens Luftfartsvæsen: Færøerne overtager Vagar Lufthavn
Media related to Vágar Airport at Wikimedia Commons