Ownership of NATO-Built Constructions under Debate Skip to content

Ownership of NATO-Built Constructions under Debate

The Civil Aviation Administration at Keflavík International Airport and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs disagree on who is in ownership of constructions in the area, including buildings belonging to the former US Naval Air Station and the airport’s runways.

According to the Foreign Ministry, these constructions belong to NATO, but the Civil Aviation Administration say that they belong to the Icelandic state. According to a recent report issued by the administration, NATO does not have any assets in Iceland, Fréttabladid reports.

Last month, however, the ministry published a list of constructions in Iceland which are owned by NATO and the Defense Institute is responsible for. The list includes the two longest airstrips at Keflavík International Airport, the airport’s fire station and nearly 200 other constructions around Iceland.

A report undertaken by Fridthór Eydal, information officer at the Keflavík Airport Civil Aviation Administration, on behalf of the airport manager, reads: “It has been confirmed by a representative [of NATO’s construction fund] that the union cannot own any immobile constructions in single member states.”

Therefore, Eydal concluded, the constructions mentioned on the ministry’s list are owned by the state and not NATO like the ministry claims. NATO can, however, request use of these constructions and buildings since its fund paid for their construction and maintenance. NATO has not used these constructions since 2007.

The report says that it is important to find out whether NATO plans to use these constructions in the future.

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