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Oslo Airport Keeping National Economy on the Move
“We have to be punctual at all times and to achieve healthy profits in order for the system to thrive. We feel we are doing a very important job for the country.”
Oslo Airport, Norway’s main airport, is definitely on a growth curve. It boosted its passenger numbers from 11.7 million when it opened in 1998 to 19.1 million in 2010 (in spite of the Icelandic volcanic eruption) and it expects to serve around 21 million passengers this year.
“Thanks to the ‘green’ procedures we have developed, that water is actually cleaner than it was when the airport opened, and Oslo Airport is now a carbon neutral enterprise.”
Oslo Airport was named the most efficient airport in Europe last year for the second time, and has been ranked Europe’s most punctual airport four times by the Association of European Airlines. “We are very focused on punctuality, which is one reason we have high customer satisfaction,” explains Managing Director Nic Nilsen.
Oslo Airport is operated by Oslo Lufthavn, part of the Avinor group which operates 46 airports in Norway. A publicly owned airport run as a private enterprise, Oslo Airport plays a crucial role in the Norwegian economy. Nic Nilsen points out, “Norway could not function without reliable air services, and Oslo Airport is the growth engine for the Norwegian airport system. We have to be punctual at all times and to achieve healthy profi ts in order for the system to thrive. We feel we are doing a very important job for the country.”
Oslo Airport offered flights to 123 destinations last year; around 45% of its flights were domestic. The fastest growing international routes were to Berlin, Bangkok, Zürich, Helsinki, Vienna and Stockholm, and the airlines with the most growth in passenger numbers on flights via Oslo Airport in 2010 were SAS and Norwegian, followed by Thai Airways and KLM.
€1.5 billion expansion in the works
To keep up with growing demand, Avinor has given the go ahead for a €1.5 billion terminal, taxiway and apron areas expansion project at Oslo Airport that will increase its passenger capacity to 28 million by 2017, with plans for a second phase to raise capacity to 35 million.
Oslo Airport is close to achieving CDM certification and has an impressive record in environmentally friendly performance, including the most public transport access of any European airport. In May 2010, Oslo Airport achieved the highest level of Airport Carbon Accreditation, a new European scheme to certify airport operators’ efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Nic Nilsen adds, “Oslo Airport was built above one of Norway’s biggest groundwater sources, yet because of the harsh winters here we need to use a lot of de-icing chemicals. Thanks to the ‘green’ procedures we have developed, that water is actually cleaner than it was when the airport opened, and Oslo Airport is now a carbon neutral enterprise.”