Oslo Airport…

Oslo Airport, Gardermoen  is located in Gardermoen in Ullensaker, Norway, 48 km north of Oslo. Opened in 1998, it is the main international airport serving Norway with two runways. It is a hub of SAS Braathens and Norwegian Air Shuttle.

Approximately 16 million passengers traveled through Oslo Airport in 2005, which is an increase of 1 million since 2004. The airport has two parallel runways of 2950 m and 3600 m, 34 passenger bridges and 5 commuter stands, 64 check-in counters and 71 aircraft stands. A third runway may be necessary in the future.

There are plans for increasing the terminal area adding a new terminal B to OSL. The airport functions as a national hub, with a total of 25 domestic destinations, with 16 being served with jet aircraft. Seven are served on public service obligation contract with the Norwegian government using regional aircraft.

Oslo Airport, Gardermoen  has the largest duty free shop in Europe. This due to the fact that Norway is not an EU member, and still may sell goods duty free to all international destinations. Arriving passengers can also by duty free products.
Sandefjord Airport, Torp also serves Oslo, primarily by low-cost carriers and regional airlines.

The Norwegian Army started using Gardermoen as a camp as early as 1740, when it was then called Fredericksfeldt. The first flight took place in 1912, and by 1920 there were multiple hangars at the airport.

When the Germans invaded Norway during WWII they bombed the airport, but subsequently rebuilt it with two 2000-meter runways.

After the war Gardermoen was used both for charter and intercontinental flights. Charter flights were operated from 1972 at Gardermoen instead of Fornebu due to a lack of slots at Fornebu, while intercontinental flights had to be operated from Gardermoen because the runway at Fornebu was too short. It was only in the 1990s that SAS flights to New York were moved to Fornebu.

After Gressholmen (sea) and Kjeller Airport (land) had been serving Oslos as airports, the new airport at Oslo Airport, Fornebu opened in 1939. But in the 1980s the airport was getting severe capacity problems. The airport had only one runway, resulting in there being no available slots at the airport during morning and afternoon rush. This made it impossible for the new deregulated airline market to work, since potential new airlines would not have access to enough slots at Fornebu. A new runway could not be constructed because of space problems.

The old airport also suffered from lack of adequate public transport, with no metro or railway line to the airport. The airport was located quite close to the city centre and beside a residential area, causing great sound pollution problems.

In 1988 Parliament decided to build an airport at Hurum. But meteorological surveys showed that there would be too much fog at Hurum, and the process was cancelled. On October 8, 1992, parliament made a final decision to build an airport at Gardermoen.

A new operating company, Oslo Lufthavn AS took over the operating of Gardermoen and Fornebu. The decision in parliament meant that the new airport had to be build self-financing, and so a separate limited company had too be created to finance the new airport. The airports total construction costs of 11,4 billion NOK was all borrowed by the company, and the profit from the operation of the airport is used to pay the debt. The company also operated Fornebu from January 1, 1997 Oslo Lufthavn AS is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Avinor AS, the Norwegian civil airport administration.

In conjunction with the new airport there was a new high-speed railway to Gardermobanen, with departures to Oslo Central Station six times each hour. It was the first high-speed railway build in Norway, and is now operated by Flytoget.

Gardermoen took over as the main Oslo airport on October 8, 1998, when Fornebu Airport was closed. The transfer happened overnight, and was a major operation. The new airport has a capacity of 17 million passengers per year, and 80 air movements per hour.

After the opening of Gardermoen, the access of slots at the airport and the arrival of a new low-cost carrier Color Air resulted in a major price war among the airlines, ending in 1999 when Color Air went bankrupt.

In 2002, Norwegian Air Shuttle started its operations, using Gardermoen as its hub. The airline serves 46 international and 8 domestic destinations.

The minister of Transport and Communications, Liv Signe Navarsete, opened on January 18, 2006, Europe’s first infrared deicing hangar at Oslo Airport. The hangar will be a supplement to standard deicing for the rest of the winter season.