Airports along Norway’s west coast from Trondheim to Stavanger and several others in central and southern Norway were reporting flight delays on Thursday because of the introduction of new air space rules and landing routines. The delays were expected to continue throughout the day.
Trondheim’s airport at Værnes, Bergen’s airport at Flesland and Stavanger’s airport at Sola were hit the hardest during the morning commuter rush, reported Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK). Delays at Bergen were averaging 45 minutes by mid-morning. Officials at state aviation and airports agency Avinor said flights in and out of Norway’s gateway airport, Oslo Gardermoen, were also affected.
Smaller airports along the west coast including Florø, Haugesund, Kristiansund, Molde, Ørsta/Volda and Ålesund were also affected by the air space changes that are aimed at better accommodating steadily increased airline traffic in Norway. Air space restrictions occurred in areas where the landing patterns were being altered, with Avinor stressing that the new routines are necessary to accommodate more flights, streamline operations and improve safety in the skies.
“We’re working closely with the airlines so the consequences would be as minor as possible, but safety is always the top priority,” Kristian Løksa of Avinor told NRK. “It’s been necessary to restrict air traffic in certain air spaces while we introduce the new landing routines, until we’re sure everything is functioning as it should.”