An idea has surfaced to construct a new 1,500-square-meter domestic airport instead of a transport center in the Vatnsmýri district in Reykjavík, north of the current airport, which would be demolished. The BSÍ bus terminal would remain in its current location.
An airplane approaches the domestic airport in Reykjavík. Photo by Páll Kjartansson.
The project is estimated to cost more than ISK 1 billion (USD 8.1 million, EUR 5.4 million), Fréttabladid reports. Earlier plans assumed a 6,000-square-meter transport center in Vatnsmýri, north of Hotel Loftleidir, with the possibility of enlarging it to 10,000 square meters.
The lot has since been decreased and Júlíus Vífill Ingvarsson, chairman of Reykjavík City’s planning council, has pointed out that the smaller lot in addition to the new Reykjavík University building, which is being constructed in the vicinity, might make ground traffic to the airport difficult.
Ingvarsson does not oppose the new idea. “The transport minister should consider building a small airport instead of the large transport center in light of the changed circumstances.” He added that the current facilities of domestic air travel in Reykjavík are unacceptable.
Minister of Transport Kristján L. Möller said construction of a smaller airport than originally planned because of reduction in domestic air travel has been discussed. However, nothing has been decided and the matter is in the hands of Reykjavík City.
“I am open towards everything and we are ready to build a transport center as soon as we are given a permit. It will always be a transport center, it is just a question of what kind of transport center,” the minister emphasized.
Chairman of the National Association of Pension Funds Arnar Sigurmundsson said a business model for the transport center is ready.
“We would participate through funding,” Sigurmundsson explained. “Repayment would be in the form of leasing and tariffs from the traffic that goes through the center. That way the cost would be repaid in 20 to 30 years.”
The Reykjavík City Council political parties, apart from the F-party, agreed last year to opt for an airport-free Vatnsmýri as suggested by the winning proposal of an architectural competition.
When asked whether the City Council has changed its policy on the airport’s location, Ingvarsson said a new airport in Vatnsmýri doesn’t necessarily meant that it has to stay there forever. The building would be light and easily removable, he stated.
Click here to read more about the planned transport center.