The Icelandic government is going to spend between 500 and 600 million ISK (3.5-4.2 million USD / 3.2-3.9 million euro, converted by Islandsbanki) for extension of airports in Akureyri (ICAO code: BIAR) and Egillstaðir (ICAO code: BIEG), Morgunblaðið reported with reference to Icelandic Minister of Transport Sigurður Ingi Jóhannsson. This will go in 2020 as preparation for a major extension of infrastructure in Iceland next years.
This extension is a part of 15 bln ISK (106 million USD / 98 million euro, converted by Islandsbanki) investment campaign, which is supposed to mitigate the negative effect of coronavirus on Icelandic economy.
“An extension of Akureyri airport will support the promotion of tourism in the North of Iceland when everything starts up again. The work at Akureyri can be started in the spring months this year and it is estimated that around 40 man-years will be created by contractors in the area,” said Sigurður Ingi Jóhannsson.
He adds that with the expansion of the runway at Egilsstadir Airport, the operations of the airport will be increase as well as aviation safety in Iceland: “Larger aircraft can be accommodated, creating additional employment in the area.”
According to Sigurður, the projects are profitable and in line with the government’s policy of strengthening other international airports and thus increasing the number of gateways to the country.
The mayor of Akureyri Ásthildur Sturludóttir is extremely happy with the government’s decision.
“We emphasized the importance of having another gateway into the country and the government discussed it as well. We have pointed out that here we have all the infrastructure to accommodate tourists. We are the capital of the region and have a good runway already, but we need the other facilities, which airlines need,” said Ásthildur Sturludóttir. She says that bad facilities on the field have been a factor, among other things, when interested foreign airlines have had to leave. “We haven’t a sufficiently large terminal and just the appropriate facilities, but I am quite convinced that this will change the situation tremendously.”
Previously this year a long-awaited Instrumental Landing System was established for runway 19 in Akureyri.