Traffic growth driving Avinor airport strategy

Norway’s plans for a new airport at Bodø will be presented in the first half of 2017 as part of a national transport plan.

As part of the restructuring of the Royal Norwegian Air Force, Avinor took over responsibility for the operation of Bodø airport from the armed forces on 1 August 2016, choosing to outsource fire and rescue services, runway maintenance and electrical services.

“This operating model will provide safe, stable and scalable operations that also cover the temporary and varying needs of the Norwegian Armed Forces until the F16 is phased out after 2020,” said Avinor in its annual report for 2016..

According to Avinor, the Norwegian Defence Estates Agency has drawn up a property strategy which tables the idea of sharing airport project funding between Avinor, assets from properties together with an external funding source.

Avinor said that on behalf of the Norwegian transport ministry it had conducted a further
study into establishing a new airport which pegs the cost at between NOK 4.5 billion (US$526 million) – NOK 5 billion.

“Avinor’s contribution to the financing is estimated at a level of NOK 1.5 billion,” it said.

The government has declared that it will include a construction of a new airport in Bodø in the National Transport Plan for the period 2018-2029 with a public funding of NOK 2.2 billion.

In an effort to make the operation more efficient and avoid new tower facility investments, a remote services strategy has been developed within Avinor Air Navigation Services which has partnered with Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace for the development of a remotely operated tower centre at Bodø, servicing a targeted 15 towers by 2020.

“This is a ground-breaking air navigation service project that involves technical, economical and regulatory risk when it comes to progress.  The project is on schedule with regards to the milestone plan,” said Avinor.

Avinor added that it will closely monitor the international deregulation of and competition-related developments within tower and approach services and that it will ensure it is a competitive and preferred supplier in a future competition-exposed market.

“The group has at present an extensive strategic sourcing process, and will facilitate the further development of efficient supplier markets. In addition, the group will facilitate innovation processes. In accordance with the group’s modernisation programme, the effort to increase effectiveness and productivity will continue.”

In addition to Bodo, Avinor chief executive Dag Falk-Petersen noted the increasing traffic levels driving the infrastructural requirements, citing overcrowding at the country’s main airports at Oslo and Bergen.

On 27 April this year, the new Oslo airport will officially open, while the new terminal at Bergen Airport is set to open on 17 August.

“Higher capacity is being planned for the non-Schengen area at Oslo airport to be able to meet the increase in intercontinental traffic,” he said, adding, “according to estimates, a third runway will also be required at Oslo Airport in a few years’ time.” Large expansion projects are also in progress in Tromsø and Stavanger.

The group’s operating income for 2016 was NOK 10.8 billion (NOK 11.9 billion) and profit after tax totalled NOK 1.0 billion (NOK 2.4 billion in 2015). The 2015 result was positively affected by a non-recurring profit made on the sale of property.

In 2016, the group’s modernisation programme met the target for efficiency improvements and cost savings of NOK 300 million by a wide margin. The group is targeting cost savings of NOK 600 million annually from 2018 compared to the group’s prior long-term plan. Targeted accumulated savings for the period 2015 – 2018 are NOK 1.5 billion.

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