It is unlikely that Iceland will take up security checks for weapons on domestic flights, and will remain the one country in Europe not required to have them.
As those who have flown Air Iceland – the country’s domestic airlines – have noticed, there are no metal detectors nor X-rays for luggage required before boarding. The airlines do fly to Greenland and the Faeroe Islands as well, again with the same level of security.
Although this may seem unusual to those visiting from abroad, RÚV reports that security is unlikely to increase. In fact, Iceland has been the exception to a pan-European regulation for about eight years now.
Einar Örn Heðinsson, the head of security at the Icelandic Civil Aviation Administration, explained that while European aviation authorities have been reminding European nations to take up basic flight security such as X-rays and metal detectors, Iceland has been the exception. European authorities have allowed this exception due to Iceland’s location, its distance from any major cities, and the type of aircraft used for domestic flights. This exception was put in place in 2004 and is considered indefinite.
Einar does not believe there is any reason to change the situation, either. Rather, he contends that to initiate weapons search security, it would cost money to purchase the machinery needed, as well as hire and train staff. Some airports in the countryside are also ill equipped to handle such a change. Einar adds that it is likely air fares would have to increase to cover the cost, while delays would be more frequent.
For now, then, Iceland will remain the only country in Europe with relatively security-free domestic flights.