The owners of the land near the Fagradasfjall volcano eruption want to prevent Norðurflug from landing their helicopters in the area. The district commissioner has imposed a ban at the request of landowners. This applies only to the Norðurflug, but not to the other helicopter companies, which perform flights to the eruption site.
The next step, in this case, is that the landowners must file a confirmation of the injunction within a week, otherwise, it will lapse. According to Vísir’s sources, the landowners initially asked for ISK 7,5 million (USD 60 900, Euro 51 200, rates by Icelandic CB at 30.06.21) for landings for two weeks.
Norðurflug´s lawyer Sigurður G. Guðjónsson says that the landowners’ demand is to receive ISK 20 000 (USD 162, Euro 136,5 rates by Icelandic CB at 30.06.21) for each landing. According to him, from the beginning, there has been an attempt to negotiate with landowners, but he says that the price must be in line with what can be considered normal. For example, taking into account the facilities where hills and moors are being landed close to the eruption. In comparison, landing at Reykjavík Airport, where a full service for a helicopter is provided, costs between ISK 4 500 and 5 500 (between USD 36,5 and 44,6, Euro 30,8 and 37,6 respectively, rates by Icelandic CB at 30.06.21).
According to Sigurður, there are four companies that fly there and one of them, Helo, has already agreed with the landowners. According to Sigurður, Helo’s fee is ISK 57 000 (USD 462, Euro 390, rates by Icelandic CB at 30.06.21), compared to ISK 44 000 (USD 357, Euro 301, rates by Icelandic CB at 30.06.21) at Norðurflug. It is thus clear that this landing fee will fall directly on the passengers.
The Icelandic Tourist Board SAF has issued a statement warning strongly against tariffs on the part of landowners, as well as doubts about its legitimacy. The resolution points out that Norðurflug has sought agreements with landowners without success, but it is clear that the parties significantly disagree on what is a normal and fair fee for the use of the land in question.
“In the case, it is undisputed that there are no facilities or services on the part of landowners that should be the subject of the fee in question. It is also natural to ask what is the responsibility of landowners regarding safety in the area in connection with tariffs. The Icelandic Tourist Board obviously considers it neither fair nor normal that the fee for landings on uncultivated and uninhabited land, where there are no facilities or services, is many times higher than the fee for landings on built-up airports with associated services. The association strongly warns, as it is said, that laws are interpreted in such a way that landowners can demand from tourism operators large sums of their choice for the use of uncultivated and uninhabited land that does not cause damage or disturbance to the owners’ property,” says the SAF statement.