Discussions are taking place between the Dutch company ECA and the Icelandic ÍAV Thjónusta, a subsidiary of construction company Íslenskir adalverktakar, on creating facilities at Keflavík International Airport to store and service jets and helicopters, which NATO member states can rent for practice purposes.
Keflavík International Airport. Copyright: Icelandic Photo Agency.
According to Morgunbladid’s sources, a special flight school and training center at Keflavík is also being discussed.
A number of helicopters, military jets and light airplanes can be stored in the large hangar at the airport, along with aircraft used by non-member states, such as Russian military jets, and emergency airplanes and helicopters.
The intention is for NATO member states to use these aircraft for practices, which will take place elsewhere. The aircraft will be unarmed while in Iceland.
This kind of operation could create up to 200 jobs in Iceland, especially for air mechanics. Technical development of some sort might also take place alongside it.
ECA has been looking for the right facilities for such services and Canada has been mentioned in that connection. However, Iceland is considered a better location in addition to Keflavík Airport having an abandoned military base.
ECA has operated an international helicopter rental for the past years and has rented helicopters to NATO that have been used in Afghanistan. The company has also organized the training of military pilots from various countries.