Keflavik International Airport, Iceland’s national gateway to the country, had another record year in 2013 with 2,751,743 passengers, a 15.6% increase from 2012. A total of 1,946,978 passengers passed through the airport while entering and leaving Iceland, a 14.8% increase from 2012, and 469,775 passengers transited this successful Atlantic hub, 19.66% more than 2012. Transit and transfer passengers are only counted once.
December was Keflavik’s largest Christmas month to date, with 30.1% more passengers than last year. The airport has seen a 70% increase in passenger traffic in 4 years. A further 18.5% increase is expected in 2014.
Airport operator Isavia is preparing s to modify terminal facilities to meet the challenge with increased capacity and sustained passenger comfort, which keeps Keflavik abreast with the top scoring European airports in service surveys.
Isavia and other tourist industry leaders keep up a robust marketing campaign and promotion of destination Iceland that has resulted in added interest by airline operators. Isavia promotes increased flight frequency during winter with an attractive business incentive program. The successful rise in winter schedule passengers is fitting with Keflavik‘s plan for better off-season utilization.
7.7 percent increase in the Iceland Air Traffic Control Area
2013 was a record year in Isavia‘s Reykjavik Oceanic and Area Control Center, with a total of 116,326 aircraft transiting the area. This 7.7% increase over 2012 was the result of a hike in air traffic on the North Atlantic and Polar routes combined with upper air wind conditions prevailing in 2013.
The Iceland Air Traffic Control Area is 5.4 million sq. km. in size, ranging generally from the Greenwich meridian in the east to west of Greenland and from the North Pole to south of the Faroe Islands. The entire area is equivalent to most of the European land mass, excluding Russia.
Extensive modification planned
Keflavik International Airport has reacted decisively to meet the progressive increase in passenger traffic in recent years with more terminal capacity aimed at enhanced comfort and expediency. A planned 5.000 sq. m. extension to the south satellite terminal to be completed in 2015 will include boarding areas and six bus gates for remote aircraft parking.
The new spaces will reflect simplicity in design and enhanced operational flexibility and dispatch during peak hours. A programmed expansion of the automatic luggage system that will double the capacity will be completed in early summer.
Cargo volume rising at Keflavik International
Air mail and cargo traffic at Keflavik International increased by 4.47% and 5.76% respectively in 2013. The export cargo of 29.341 tons, mainly consisting of fresh fish, was nearly three times the import volume of 11.891 tons. However, incoming mail of 927 tons was three times that of outgoing mail, 311 tons.