The Board of Avinor, the Norwegian airports operator, has approved the construction of a new Bodø Airport, scheduled for completion in 2029.

The cost for Avinor’s development project is NOK 7.2bn (€683m) at 2022 prices, not including the purchase of land and excluding financing costs. Avinor Group’s Board of Directors has approved Avinor’s financial contribution to the project in the amount of NOK 2.6bn (€246m). The remainder will be funded by the government and by local funds.

“We are pleased to make this decision following a lengthy process that has involved the Norwegian Armed Forces [which shares the airport facilities] and the municipality of Bodø. We are going to build a new airport, and the urban development project will have a major impact on the entire region,” said Abraham Foss, CEO of Avinor.

The project has not been without its challenges. In January of this year, the Board resolved to postpone its decision due to several reasons, including the company’s financial following the pandemic. Avinor’s loss of income because of COVID-19 in the period 2020-2022 has amounted to NOK 16bn (€1.5bn), the operator said.

“It goes without saying that this has been a difficult issue for Avinor. On the one hand, we are keen to develop a new airport and we have always been clear about this. The municipality of Bodø is also keen to see a new airport built while also being given the opportunity to build a new neighbourhood. Furthermore, the project has enjoyed broad political support in the Storting [the Norwegian parliament].

“At the same time, this is a very costly project that will have an impact on Avinor’s finances for many years to come. This is a big project for Avinor, the municipality of Bodø and the Norwegian Armed Forces. It is only natural that the path to a final decision has been rather long and winding, even if all parties involved had a clear desire to get it over the finishing line,” said Foss.

In June 2022, the Board approved its principled endorsement of the airport project, and made it clear that a final decision to proceed with construction would only be made when a number of key aspects of the project were fully clarified.

“We have always been committed to securing the right allocation of costs in the project, and on ensuring that the correct framework with all necessary clarifications is in place between the parties. Now that enough issues have been clarified, we are satisfied to be able to make this historic decision,” Foss explained.

The first contract win will be announced in the first week of January. This will be for the construction of the runway, taxiways, aircraft stands and other external infrastructure, also referred to as ‘contract E02 airside’.

The new Bodø Airport will be located around 900m to the south of the present airport. The airport is scheduled to be open and operational in 2029, with its official opening expected in 2029/2030. 
The current airport will remain operational until the day before the new airport opens for operations.

Image: Norconsult -LPO - Arcus / Avinor