Tailwinds propel air traffic control business in Norway

The Local Norway
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Tailwinds propel air traffic control business in Norway
A Qatar Airways aircraft flying over Lillestrøm. File photo: Vidar Ruud / NTB scanpix

Airlines are increasingly choosing to fly over Norway on USA-bound routes, providing a windfall for air traffic operators in the Scandinavian country.


Airport operator Avinor has earned millions of kroner as a result of the extra westbound traffic, reports broadcaster NRK.

Increasing numbers of aircraft are passing over Norwegian airspace without landing, instead of taking a route across the Atlantic Ocean to get to the US, according to the report.

“The last five years have seen the number of flyovers in airspace controlled by North Norway double. That is a formidable increase,” Raymond Ingebrigtsen, head of air traffic control in Bodø, told NRK.

Airlines including Etihad, Emirates and Qatar Airways were the biggest users of Norwegian airspace, Ingebrigtsen said.

Since airlines using Norwegian airspace must pay charges to Avinor, extra income reaching tens of millions of kroner has resulted from the growth in traffic.

“For us the increase is positive. We must naturally increase staff during periods with more flyovers, but that apart, it is not something that requires investment,” Ingebrigtsen told NRK.

Wind conditions in Norway are one of the primary reasons for airlines choosing the route over the Scandinavian country.

Additionally, Norway is cheaper to fly over than the United Kingdom, writes NRK.

“Tailwinds are very good business for us. Airlines lose less money when they fly with tailwinds,” Ingebrigtsen told the broadcaster.

Despite the lower cost to airlines, the route over Norway makes journey times to the USA slightly longer.

Ingebrigtsen added that he did not expect the trend to continue.

“I don’t see this continuing to increase as much as it has up to now. The growth [in flights across Norway] is probably the result of new technology and newer aircraft,” he said.

“New aircraft have longer range, and can fly 12-13 hours. The means they can fly over larger areas without stopovers,” he added.

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