Oslo Airport’s 148,000sqm terminal is being expanded and revamped as part of a development project to boost its capacity and provide passengers with improved services.
Works on a new departures and arrivals hall, railway station and new pier have reached the halfway mark in the €1.6 billion construction project, and is on target for completion by April 2017.
Once the first phase is finished, the capacity of Oslo Airport will increase to 28mppa, up from the current 23mppa.
Managing director Nic Nilsen, explains the project is all about enhancing facilities for passengers, so a key aspect is short walking distances from the new pier, and easy access to public transport, along with providing improved F&B and retail options.
All construction developments are taking place in the same architectural style as the existing facilities at Norway’s main gateway, part of Oslo Airport’s ‘one terminal concept’ strategy.
Nilsen explained: “We have chosen a passenger-friendly solution. We are expanding the existing terminal to boost capacity and have focused on keeping the concept of a compact airport with short distances.”
He says they want passengers to see and feel like it is one airport, not two, like some airports do, and it led to a decision against constructing a separate building.
As construction work is taking place on the existing Gardermoen site, Nilsen explains that the biggest challenges Oslo has faced is making sure the airport runs smoothly and efficiently while work takes place, and it is not affected in any way during the revamp.
To ensure this happens, more shuttle buses are running during the expansion period, as some gates have been closed to connect the new pier to the existing terminal.
Once the redevelopment is opened in April 2017, international and domestic traffic will be separated on different levels for the first time.
A major aspect of the project is a new railway station, which is part of an ambitious target to encourage 70% of all passengers to use public transport to get to and from the gateway.
And Oslo Airport’s goal is for the entire development and new facilities, to be as environmentally friendly as possible, and be as carbon free as possible.
Nilsen explains that its aim is to shrink its carbon footprint, so the new building will have a wooden roof on the new pier, and it will use sound energy solutions utilising sewage and snow.
“Among other things, the roof of the new pier is wood, not steel, and Oslo Airport is one of the first in the world to use snow for cooling and waste for heating,” Nilsen adds.
The new departures and arrivals hall and new pier are set to be awarded an ‘excellent’ rating in the BREEAM building certification, a recognised architectural eco-assessment for new building constructions.
Thorgeir Landevaag, director of the expansion project at Oslo Airport, says it is essential that the airport expands, so that it can compete with the Nordic hubs of Copenhagen, Stockholm and Helsinki.
“The expansion will give us the capacity we need and also give us the opportunity to increase our revenues with more F&B and other services,” he says.
“Once completed, we will be on the way to becoming a middle-tier international airport in Europe,” says Landevaag , which he adds is a long-term objective of Oslo Airport.
He adds that with passenger figures projected to reach 28mppa by 2020, the key to success for Oslo Airport is ensuring that it has the capacity to stay one step ahead of demand.
As a result, he reveals, that the gateway is already thinking about raising its capacity to 35mppa in future expansion programmes.