From Iceland — Domestic Airport Must Expand, But Officials Can't Agree Where

Domestic Airport Must Expand, But Officials Can’t Agree Where

Published August 25, 2022

Photo by
Konstantin von Wedelstaedt/Wikimedia Commons

The City of Reykjavík expects that 20,000-25,000 people could live in the Vatnsmýri area if the domestic airport is relocated, reports RÚV.

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Transportation engineer Lilja Karlsdóttir says it is better to have an airport in a potential risk area due to possible lava flows than in a busy residential area.

Officials want to build an alternative domestic airport but can’t agree on where it should be located. Reykjavík Mayor Dagur B. Eggertsson wants a new airport somewhere in the southwest, but Icelandair wants domestic flights to continue out of Vatnsmýri. Plans for an airport in Hvassahraun in Vogar are in turmoil.

“If we’re not going to build Vatnsmýri, we need to build for people somewhere else, and then we’re stretching even more into these active volcanic areas. We just need a little bit of decision-making, to get off the ground and do this properly, because it’s really bad for everyone involved at the airport, especially those with the smaller, private planes,” says Lilja.

Urban planner Guðmund Kristján Jónsson says the development in Vatnsmýri is one of the most cost-effective climate actions that can be taken in Iceland because it will give tens of thousands of people the opportunity to get to and from work without using their private car. “There is enormous value in this land in Vatnsmýri,” he says.

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