Friday, July 22, 2011

Oslo Airport, Gardermoen

Oslo Airport, Gardermoen, Oslo lufthavn, Gardermoen, is the principal airport serving Oslo, Norway. It acts as the main domestic hub and international airport for Norway, and the second-busiest airport in the Nordic countries. A hub for Scandinavian Airlines and Norwegian Air Shuttle, and a focus city for Widerøe, it is connected to 25 domestic, 27 European and 5 intercontinental destinations. More than 19 million passengers traveled through Oslo Airport in 2010, of which 8.6 million were domestic—making Gardermoen the sixth-busiest domestic airport in Europe.
The airport is located at Gardermoen in Ullensaker, 19 nautical miles (35 km; 22 mi) northeast of Oslo. The airport has two parallel roughly north–south runways 3,600 metres (11,800 ft) and 2,950 metres (9,680 ft) long, 71 aircraft stands, of which 34 have jet bridges. The airport is connected to the city center by the high-speed Gardermoen Line served by mainline trains and Flytoget. The civilian facilities are owned by Oslo Lufthavn AS, a subsidiary of the state-owned Avinor. Also at the premises is Gardermoen Air Station, operated by the Royal Norwegian Air Force. Oslo is also served by the low-cost Sandefjord Airport, Torp and Moss Airport, Rygge.
The area was taken into use by the Norwegian Army in 1740, with the first military airport facilities being built during the 1940s. Gardermoen remained a secondary reserve and charter airport to Oslo Airport, Fornebu until 8 October 1998, when the latter closed and an all-new Gardermoen opened, costing NOK 11.4 billion. An expansion with a third pier is scheduled to open after 2012.

The Norwegian–Danish army started using Gardermoen as a camp in 1740, although it was called Fredericksfeldt until 1788. It was first used by the cavalry, then by the dragoons and in 1789 by the riding marines. The base was also taken into use by the infantry from 1834 and by the artillery from 1860. Tents were solely used until 1860, when the first barracks and stalls were taken into use. Isolated buildings were built around 1900, allowing the camp to be used year-round. By 1925, the base had eleven camps and groups of buildings. The first flight at Gardermoen happened in 1912, and Gardermoen became a station for military flights. However, only fields and dirt surfaces were used.
During the occupation of Norway by Nazi Germany, the Luftwaffe took over Gardermoen, and built the first proper airport facilities with hangars and two crossing runways, both 2,000 metres (6,600 ft) long. After World War II, the airport was taken over by the Norwegian Air Force and made the main air station. Three fighter and one transport squadron were stationed at the Gardermoen.
In 1946, Braathens SAFE established their technical base at the airport, but left two years later. Gardermoen also became the reserve airport for Oslo Airport, Fornebu, when the latter was closed due to fog. From 1946 to 1952, when a longer runway was built at Fornebu, all intercontinental traffic was moved to Gardermoen. Gardermoen grew up as a training field for the commercial airlines and as local airport for general aviation. Some commercial traffic returned again in 1960, when SAS received its first Sud Aviation Caravelle jet aircraft, that could not use the runway at Fornebu until it was extended again in 1962. SAS introduced a direct flight to New York in 1962, but it was quickly terminated.
In 1972, capacity restraints forced the authorities to move all charter traffic from Fornebu to Gardermoen. However, SAS and Braathens SAFE were allowed to keep their charter services from Fornebu, so they would not have to operate from two bases. A former hangar was converted to a terminal building and in 1974 passenger numbers were at 269,000 per year. In 1978, SAS started a weekly flight to New York. In 1983, further restrictions were enforced, and also SAS and Braathens SAFE had to move their charter operations to Gardermoen, increasing passenger numbers that year to 750,000. Several expansions of runway were made after the war, and by the 1985-extension the north-south runway was 3,050 metres (10,010 ft).

The airport covers an area of 13 square kilometres (5.0 sq mi) It is built based on the Atlanta-model, with two parallel runways and a single terminal with two piers on a single line. Non-commercial and practice general aviation is not operated at Gardermoen, and is mainly done from Kjeller Airport, Rakkestad Airport and Tønsberg Airport, Jarlsberg. Gardermoen is located 19 nautical miles (35 km; 22 mi) north-northeast of Oslo.

The passenger terminal covers 148,000 square metres (1,590,000 sq ft) and is 819 metres (2,687 ft) long.  It has place for 52 aircraft, of which 34 are connected with bridges and eighteen are remotely parked. Domestic gates are located in the west wing, while international gates are in the east wing, with non-Schengen gates at the east end. Three of the gates are "flexigates" for both domestic and international Schengen flights, another four gates near the east end are flexigates for both Schengen and non-Schengen flights. EU controllers have been somewhat sceptical of the Schengen/non-Schengen flexigates, and there were a few incidents where the wrong doors were opened so that passengers who should have gone through the border control did not. Capacity is 17 million,although in 2008, 19.3 million passengers used the airport. The airport is "silent", so announcements for flights are only done in the immediate vicinity of the gate. There is a playground in both the domestic and international sections, and a quiet room in the domestic section. There are stationed medical personnel at the airport.
About half the airport operator's income is from retail revenue. There are twenty eating places, of which seven are operated by Reitangruppen and thirteen by Select Service Partner. In addition there are stores and other services including banks and post. 7,200 square metres (78,000 sq ft) is used for restaurants, stores and non-aviation services. The duty-free shop is 1,530 square metres (16,500 sq ft) and the largest in Europe. The shop is located in front of the international concourse, taking up a large part of the terminal's width. 

Art and architecture
Architects were Aviaplan, a joint venture between the agencies Narud Stokke Wiig, Niels Torp, Skaarup & Jespersen and Hjellnes Cowi. Main architect was Gudmund Stokke. The terminal building has a light, floating roof that gives a simple construction. First the walls were erected, and a roof put on top. Afterwards, internal facilities could be added. The roof is held up with wooden reefers. The main construction materials are wood, metal and glass. The airlines were required to follow the same design rules for their buildings as the terminal. The main art on the land side of the airport is Alexis, consisting of six steel sculptures in stainless steel created by Per Inge Bjørlo. On the air side, Carin Wessel used 30,000 metres (98,000 ft) of thread to make the impression of clouds and webs, named Ad Astra. Anna Karin Rynander and Per-Olof Sandberg cooperated in making two installations: The Marathon Dancers, located in the baggage claim area, is a set of two electronic boards that show a dancing person. Sound Refreshment Station, of which six are located in the departure areas, are sound "showers" that make refreshing sounds when a person is immediately under them. Sidsel Westbø has etched the glass walls. In the check-in area, there are small boxes under the floor with glass ceilings that contain curiosities. As well as the custom-made art, several existing sculptures and paintings have been bought. At the National Road 35 and European Route E6 junction, Vebjørn Sand has built a 14-metre (46 ft) statue named the Kepler Star. It consists of two internally-illuminated Kepler–Poinsot polyhedrons, appearing like a giant star in the sky after dark.

Runways and air control
The airport has two parallel runways, aligned 01/19. The west runway is 3,600 metres (11,800 ft) long, while the east runway is 2,950 metres (9,680 ft) long. Both have taxiways, allowing 80 air movements per hour. The runways are equipped with instrument landing system category 3A and the airport is supervised by a 90-metre (300 ft) tall control tower. Once aircraft are 15 kilometres (9 mi) from the airport, responsibility is taken over by Oslo Air Traffic Control Center, who supervises the airspace with Haukåsen Radar. There are two ground radars at the airport, located on the far sides of each of the runways. Both at the gates and along the taxiways, there is an automatic system of lights that guide the aircraft. On the tarmac, these are steered by the radar, while they are controlled by motion sensors at the gate.
There are four deicing stations. Both fire stations each have three fire cars, and is part of the municipal fire department. Meteorological services are operated by the Norwegian Meteorological Institute, who have 12 weather stations and 16 employees at the airport. This includes Norway's first aeronautic information service and a self-briefing room, in addition to briefings from professionals. Restrictions on air movements apply overnight from 23:00 to 06:00, although permitted if landing from and taking off to the north.

Ground transport
Situated about 47 kilometres (29 mi) from the city center, Oslo Airport offers extended public transporting services. The airport has the world's highest degree of public transport, with a share of 60 %.
The 64 kilometres (40 mi) Gardermoen Line opened the same day as the airport, and runs in a tunnel below the airport facilities, where Oslo Airport Station is located below the terminal. The Flytoget airport express train operates to Oslo Central Station six times per hour in nineteen minutes, with three services continuing onwards via five intermediate stations to Drammen Station. The Airport Express Train has a 34 % ground transport share.
The Norwegian State Railways (NSB) also operates from the airport, both a commuter train service to Eidsvoll and Kongsberg, and a regional service north to Oppland and Hedmark, and south to Vestfold. Both offer services to Oslo, and the latter allows direct service to Sandefjord Airport, Torp. Five daily express trains to Trondheim stop at the airport, including one night train.

Departure drop area
The Oslo Airport Express Coach serves the airport, from Oslo, Fredrikstad, Ski and Gjøvik. In addition, most express buses from other parts of Norway stop at the airport. The local transport authority, Ruter, operates a number of services to Gardermoen from nearby places.
The airport is located on Norwegian National Road 35, which connects as a four-lane motorway to the European Route E6 about 6 kilometres (3.7 mi) to the east. The E6 runs south with four lanes to Oslo, and northwards with two or four lanes towards Oppland, Hedmark and Central Norway. National Road 35 connects with two lanes westward as a toll road towards Southern Oppland. There are 11,400 parking spaces at the airport, as well as taxi stands and rental car facilities.

Oslo Airport has a catchment area of 2.5 million people, including most of Eastern Norway and 0.3 million people in Sweden. In 2009, Oslo Airport served 18,087,722 passengers, 77,761 tonnes (76,533 long tons; 85,717 short tons) of cargo and 211,048 aircraft movements, down from 2008.Within the European Economic Area (EEA) in 2008, Oslo Airport ranked as the seventeenth-busiest overall, and the sixth-busiest in domestic traffic. It is the second-busiest airport in the Nordic countries, after Copenhagen Airport. The busiest route is to Trondheim, which with 1.6 million passengers was the tenth-busiest route within the EEA. Along with the domestic routes to Bergen and Stavanger, and the international routes to Copenhagen and Stockholm, Oslo Airport served five of the twenty-five busiest routes in the EEA in 2007, all with more than one million passengers.

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