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Airport Keflavík (Island) - International

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Keflavík International Airport
Airport type Public / Military
Owner/Operator Isavia Limited
Serves Greater Reykjavík Area, Iceland
Location Sandgerđi, Iceland
Hub for
Elevation AMSL 52 m / 171 ft
Coordinates 63°5906N 22°3620W / 63.98500°N 22.60556°W / 63.98500; -22.60556Coordinates: 63°5906N 22°3620W / 63.98500°N 22.60556°W / 63.98500; -22.60556
Website www.kefairport.is/english/
Location in Iceland
Direction Length Surface
m ft
02/20 3,054 10,020 Asphalt
11/29 3,065 10,056 Asphalt
Passengers (2017) 8,755,352
Passengers change 16-17 28.3%
Cargo (2012) 38.986 tonnes
Sources:[1] AIP Iceland at ICAA[2]
Statistics: Isavia Limited[3][4]

Keflavík International Airport (Icelandic: Keflavíkurflugvöllur) (IATA: KEF, ICAO: BIKF), also known as ReykjavíkKeflavík Airport, is the largest airport in Iceland and the country's main hub for international transportation. The airport is 1.7 nautical miles (3.1 km; 2.0 mi) west of Keflavík[2] and 50 km (31 mi) southwest of Reykjavík. The airport has three runways, two of which are in use, and the airport area is about 25 km2 (9.7 sq mi). Most international journeys to or from Iceland pass through this airport.

The main carriers at Keflavík are Icelandair and WOW air, each of which has the airport as its main hub. The airport is almost exclusively used for international flights; most domestic flights use Reykjavík Airport, which lies 3 km (1.9 mi) from Reykjavík's city centre, although seasonal flights from Akureyri fly to Keflavík. Keflavík Airport is operated by Isavia, a government enterprise.


Early years

Originally, the airport was built by the United States military during World War II, as a replacement for a small British landing strip at Garđur to the north. It consisted of two separate two-runway airfields, built simultaneously just 4 km apart. Patterson Field in the south-east opened in 1942 despite being partly incomplete. It was named after a young pilot who died in Iceland. Meeks Field to the north-west opened on March 23, 1943. It was named after another young pilot, George Meeks, who died on the Reykjavík airfield. Patterson Field was closed after the war, but Meeks Field and the adjoining structures were returned to Iceland's control and were renamed Naval Air Station Keflavik, for the nearby town of Keflavík. In 1951, the U.S. military returned to the airport under a defense agreement between Iceland and the U.S. signed on 5 May 1951.[5]

Development since the 1950s

With the reestablishment of the military air base at Keflavík during the 1950s, the air terminal found itself in the middle of a secure military zone. Travelers had to pass through military check points to reach their flights, until 1987, when the civilian terminal was relocated.[citation needed]

The presence of foreign military forces in Iceland under the NATO sponsored IcelandU.S. Defense Agreement of 1951 was controversial in Iceland, which had no indigenous military forces other than the Icelandic Coast Guard.[6] During the 1960s and 1970s, rallies were held to protest the U.S. military presence in Iceland (and in particular at Keflavík), and every year protesters walked the 50 km (31 mi) road from Reykjavík to Keflavík and chanted "Ísland úr NATO, herinn burt" (literally: Iceland out of NATO, the military away). The protests were not effective. One of the participants was Vigdís Finnbogadóttir, who later became the first female President of Iceland.[7]

The former Agreed Military Area at Keflavík was re-designated "Airport, Security and Development Area" under the supervision of the Keflavík International Airport Ltd. (established 1 January 2009)[citation needed], the Icelandic Coast Guard and the Keflavík Airport Development Corporation (Kadeco), respectively. The Coast Guard maintains hangars for military aircraft as well as ammunition depots, air defence radars and other military equipment for national defence. The former military encampment area (U.S. Naval Air Station Keflavík) being developed by Kadeco has been named Ásbrú to reflect its new role. The airport is in the little village named Sandgerđi, but the runway leads to Keflavík.

The two 3,000-metre-long (10,000 ft) and 61-metre-wide (200 ft) runways are large enough to support NASA's Space Shuttle as well as the Antonov An-225. On 29 June 1999, Concorde G-BOAA flew from Heathrow Airport to Reykjavík (Keflavík airport). The Concorde had been there earlier.[8] The airport is also an important emergency landing runway for large aircraft in transatlantic operation in the ETOPS system, which requires aircraft to always have less than a certain distance from a suitable landing site.[9] For many two-engine aircraft this is two or three hours with malfunction in one engine, so crossing the Atlantic Ocean would not have been possible for many two-engine aircraft if this airport didn't exist.

In 2016 the United States began preparations to re-occupy the base.[10] In 2017 the United States announced its intention to construct a modern air base on the peninsula[11] despite the history in Iceland of violent protests against repeated American attempts to militarize the island.


The terminal is named after Leif Erikson who was the first European to arrive in North America[12] (Flugstöđ Leifs Eiríkssonar (is), "Air terminal Leif Erikson"). It was opened in April 1987[13] and separated the airport's civil traffic from the military base. It was later extended with the opening of the South Building in 2001 (not a separate terminal) to comply with the requirements of the Schengen Agreement. The North Building was later enlarged and finished in 2007. The terminal has duty-free stores in the departure and arrival lounges. In 2016, the current terminal was expanded.[14] The expansion added 7 gates.[15] There are also plans to add a third runway.[16]

Airlines and destinations


Although the population of Iceland is only about 350,000, there are scheduled flights to and from numerous locations across North America and Europe. The largest carrier operating out of Keflavík is Icelandair. On 23 October 2012 WOW air acquired Iceland Express[17] making it the second largest Icelandic carrier and the second largest at Keflavík. The airport only handles international flights (except for flights to Akureyri in connection with certain Air Iceland Connect flights to Greenland); domestic flights and flights to Greenland are operated from Reykjavík's domestic airport.

The following airlines operate regular scheduled and charter services to and from Keflavík:[18]

Airlines Destinations
Aer Lingus Seasonal charter: Dublin
airBaltic Seasonal: Riga
Air Canada Seasonal: MontréalTrudeau (begins 2 June 2018), TorontoPearson (begins 18 May 2018)
Air Greenland Seasonal: Ilulissat, Nuuk
Air Iceland Connect Aberdeen (ends 14 May 2018), Akureyri (ends 14 May 2018), BelfastCity (ends 13 May 2018)[19][20]
Seasonal: Kangerlussuaq, Narsarsuaq
American Airlines Seasonal: Dallas/Fort Worth (begins 8 June 2018)[21]
Atlantic Airways Vágar
Austrian Airlines Seasonal: Vienna
British Airways LondonHeathrow
Seasonal: LondonCity
Czech Airlines Seasonal: Prague
Delta Air Lines New YorkJFK
Seasonal: Minneapolis/St. Paul
easyJet Edinburgh, LondonGatwick, LondonLuton, Manchester
Seasonal: BelfastInternational, Bristol, LondonStansted
easyJet Switzerland Seasonal: Basel/Mulhouse, Geneva
Edelweiss Air Seasonal: Zürich (begins 15 June 2018)[22]
Eurowings Seasonal: Cologne/Bonn, Düsseldorf, Hamburg, Stuttgart
Finnair Helsinki
Flybe Seasonal charter: Birmingham
Germania Seasonal: Bremen, Dresden, Nuremberg
Iberia Express Seasonal: Madrid
Icelandair Amsterdam, Bergen, BerlinTegel, Brussels, Boston, ChicagoO'Hare, Cleveland (begins 16 May 2018),[23] Copenhagen, Denver, Dallas/Fort Worth (begins 30 May 2018),[24] Dublin (begins 8 May 2018),[25] Frankfurt, Glasgow, Helsinki, Lisbon, LondonGatwick, LondonHeathrow, Manchester, Munich, New YorkJFK, Newark, Orlando, OsloGardermoen, ParisCharles de Gaulle, ParisOrly, Seattle/Tacoma, StockholmArlanda, TorontoPearson, Vancouver, WashingtonDulles
Seasonal: Anchorage, Baltimore (resumes 28 May 2018),[26] Billund, Edmonton, Geneva, Gothenburg, Halifax, Hamburg, Kansas City (begins 25 May 2018),[27] Madrid, MilanMalpensa, Minneapolis/St. Paul, MontréalTrudeau, Philadelphia, Portland (OR), San Francisco (resumes 1 June 2018),[28], Tampa, Zürich
Lufthansa Frankfurt
Seasonal: Munich
Luxair Seasonal: Luxembourg (begins 9 May 2018)[29]
Norwegian Air Shuttle Barcelona, OsloGardermoen
Seasonal: Alicante, Bergen, LondonGatwick, Madrid, StockholmArlanda
Primera Air Seasonal: Alicante, Birmingham (begins 6 December 2018),[30] Gran Canaria, Málaga, Palma de Mallorca (begins 10 June 2018),[31] TenerifeSouth, Trieste
Seasonal charter: Almería, Bodrum, Chania
S7 Airlines Seasonal: MoscowDomodedovo (begins 9 June 2018)[32][33]
Scandinavian Airlines Copenhagen, OsloGardermoen
Small Planet Airlines Seasonal charter: Burgas, Varna
Transavia France Seasonal: ParisOrly
TUI Airways Seasonal: Bristol (begins 4 November 2018),[34] East Midlands, LondonGatwick, Manchester
United Airlines Seasonal: Newark (begins 24 May 2018)[35]
Vueling Seasonal: Barcelona
Wizz Air Budapest, Gdask, Katowice, LondonLuton (begins 29 April 2018), Pozna, Prague (ends 13 June 2018), Riga, Vienna, Vilnius, WarsawChopin, Wrocaw
WOW air Alicante, Amsterdam, Baltimore, Barcelona, BerlinSchönefeld, Boston, Brussels, Cincinnati (begins 10 May 2018),[36] ChicagoO'Hare, Cleveland (begins 4 May 2018),[36] Copenhagen, Detroit (begins 26 April 2018),[37] Dublin, Edinburgh, Frankfurt, Gran Canaria, LondonGatwick, LondonStansted (begins 25 April 2018),[38] Los Angeles, MontréalTrudeau, New YorkJFK (begins 28 April 2018),[39] Newark, ParisCharles de Gaulle, Pittsburgh, San Francisco, St. Louis (begins 17 May 2018),[36] StockholmArlanda, Tel AvivBen Gurion, TenerifeSouth TorontoPearson, WarsawChopin
Seasonal: Dallas/Fort Worth (begins 24 May 2018),[40] Düsseldorf, Lyon, MilanMalpensa, Salzburg
Airlines Destinations
Air Atlanta Icelandic Bagram, Frankfurt, JakartaSoekarnoHatta, Luxembourg
ASL Airlines Belgium Ličge, New YorkJFK
Atlas Air Astana, Fargo, Shymkent
Bluebird Cargo Cologne/Bonn, Dublin, Moncton
Icelandair Cargo East Midlands, Ličge, Stansted
UPS Airlines Cologne/Bonn, Edinburgh, Moncton


Busiest destinations
Busiest destinations from Keflavík (2015)[41]
Rank Airport Passengers
1. LondonGatwick, LondonHeathrow, LondonLuton, LondonStansted
2. Copenhagen
3. New YorkJFK, New YorkNewark
4. OsloGardermoen
5. Boston
6. ParisCharles de Gaulle
7. Amsterdam
8. StockholmArlanda
9. Frankfurt
10. TorontoPearson
11. BerlinSchönefeld, BerlinTegel
12. SeattleTacoma
13. Manchester
14. Helsinki
15. WashingtonDulles
16. Munich
17. Denver
18. GlasgowInternational
19. Edmonton
20. Bergen
Passenger numbers
Year Passengers[42] Change
2004 1,883,725
2005 2,101,679 +11.6%
2006 2,272,917 +8.1%
2007 2,429,144 +6.9%
2008 2,193,434 -9.7%
2009 1,832,944 -16.4%
2010 2,065,188 +12.7%
2011 2,474,806 +19.8%
2012 2,764,026 +11.7%
2013 3,209,848 +16.1%
2014 3,867,425 +20.5%
2015 4,855,505 +25.5%
2016 6,821,358 +40.4%
2017 8,755,352 +28.3%


Transport between the airport and Reykjavík city is by road only. The distance is 50 km. A new dual carriageway road (route 41) was opened in 2008. Buses are operated by Airport Express, Flybus and Strćtó bs to Reykjavík.[43] Taxis are available outside the terminal. Rental cars are available from various companies.[44]

Accidents and incidents


  1. ^ "Vísir Enn eitt metiđ slegiđ í fjölda farţega sem fara um Keflavíkurflugvöll". Visir.is. 
  2. ^ a b "BIKF Keflavík" (PDF). Icelandic Civil Aviation Administration. 
  3. ^ "2012 Passenger Statistics". Kefairport.is. Isavia Limited. Archived from the original on 23 October 2013. Retrieved 22 October 2013. 
  4. ^ "Cargo Statistics 2012". Kefairport.is. Isavia Limited. Archived from the original on 23 October 2013. Retrieved 22 October 2013. 
  5. ^ "U.S. Government Debated Secret Nuclear Deployments in Iceland". National Security Archive. George Washington University. 15 August 2016. Retrieved 10 December 2016. 
  6. ^ Kochis, Daniel; Slattery, Brian (21 Jun 2016). "Iceland: Outsized Importance for Transatlantic Security". The Heritage Foundation. Retrieved 9 Jan 2018. 
  7. ^ Jeffreys-Jones, Rhodri (1997). Changing Differences: Women and the Shaping of American Foreign Policy, 1917-1994. Rutgers University Press. p. 168. ISBN 978-0813524498. 
  8. ^ "Concorde to Iceland The Ultimate Day Trip Trailer Plato Video". YouTube. 21 April 2012. 
  9. ^ "Annex 6 Operation of Aircraft" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 29 March 2017. Retrieved 24 May 2017. 
  10. ^ Pettersen, Trude (10 Feb 2016). "U.S. military returns to Iceland". The Barents Observer. Retrieved 9 Jan 2018. 
  11. ^ Snow, Shawn (17 Dec 2017). "US plans $200 million buildup of European air bases flanking Russia". Air Force Times. Retrieved 9 Jan 2018. 
  12. ^ Read description and sources to his life and discovery in Leif Erikson
  13. ^ Saga og menning, Keflavik Airport website.
  14. ^ "Hugmyndir um ađ reisa nýja flugstöđ" (in Icelandic). ruv. Retrieved 13 February 2013. 
  15. ^ "Metfjöldi farţega á Keflavíkurflugvelli í fyrra Mikil aukning fjórđa áriđ í röđ". Isavia.is. 
  16. ^ "Hugmyndir um nýja flugbraut á Keflavíkurflugvelli" (in Icelandic). visir. Archived from the original on 8 May 2014. Retrieved 13 February 2013. 
  17. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 13 November 2012. Retrieved 27 October 2012. 
  18. ^ kefairport.is Timetables retrieved 1 November 2016
  19. ^ https://www.ch-aviation.com/portal/news/64466-air-iceland-connect-to-cut-fleet-quit-uk
  20. ^ https://worldairlinenews.com/2018/02/16/air-iceland-connect-to-drop-flights-from-keflavik-including-the-uk/
  21. ^ http://news.aa.com/press-releases/press-release-details/2017/American-Airlines-Announces-New-Service-to-Reykjavik-Iceland-11142017/default.aspx
  22. ^ https://www.flyedelweiss.com/EN/destinations/Pages/keflavik.aspx
  23. ^ "Icelandair adds Cleveland service from May 2018". Routes Online. Retrieved September 4, 2017. 
  24. ^ https://www.dallasnews.com/business/airlines/2017/09/14/dfw-airport-lands-second-icelandic-carrier-two-weeks-arrival-icelandair
  25. ^ "Flights to Dublin". Icelandair. Retrieved 2 October 2017. 
  26. ^ Sharrow, Ryan. "Icelandair Returning to BWI after a decade". Baltimore Business Journal. Retrieved 10 January 2018. 
  27. ^ Vockrodt, Steve. "For the first time ever, KCI gets a nonstop transatlantic flight". Retrieved 9 January 2018. 
  28. ^ "Icelandair Goes West to San Francisco". Icelandair (Press release). Icelandair. 11 January 2018. Retrieved 11 January 2018. 
  29. ^ routesonline.com - Luxair adds Iceland service in 2Q18 15 November 2017
  30. ^ https://primeraair.co.uk/plan-trip/route-map/
  31. ^ https://primeraair.co.uk/plan-trip/route-map/
  32. ^ "Russia, Moscow, Domodedovo (DME) <-> Iceland, Reykjavik, Keflavik (KEF)". S7.ru. S7 Airlines. Retrieved 29 October 2017. 
  33. ^ Liu, Jim (10 November 2017). "S7 Airlines adds seasonal Iceland service in S18". Routesonline. Retrieved 10 November 2017. 
  34. ^ https://www.tui.co.uk/flight/timetable
  35. ^ "United Airlines: Iceland, Portugal included among four new Europe routes". USAToday.com. Retrieved 12 September 2017. 
  36. ^ a b c https://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/flights/todayinthesky/2017/08/23/wow-air-known-99-europe-fares-adds-four-new-u-s-cities/591771001/
  37. ^ http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/wow-air-expands-across-us-offering-four-new-midwest-destinations-300508233.html
  38. ^ booking.wowair.com
  39. ^ http://www.travelandleisure.com/flight-deals/wow-air-new-york-city-jfk
  40. ^ WOW Air expands to Dallas/Fort Worth; Europe fares begin at $99 one way USA Today, 6th September, 2017.
  41. ^ "Database Eurostat". ec.europa.eu. Retrieved 24 May 2017. 
  42. ^ "2010 - Kefairport.com". kefairport.is. Retrieved 21 July 2016. 
  43. ^ "Airport Shuttle from Keflavík Airport, Iceland - Keflavík International Airport - Kefairport.com". kefairport.is. Retrieved 21 July 2016. 
  44. ^ "Car Rental/Car Hire at Keflavík International Airport, Iceland - Kefairport.com". kefairport.is. Retrieved 21 July 2016. 
  45. ^ "Accident: Sukhoi SU95 at Keflavik on Jul 21st 2013, belly landing". Avherald.com. 
  46. ^ "Accident description". Aviation Safety Network. March 2016. 
  47. ^ "ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 195078". Aviation Safety Network. 28 April 2017. Retrieved 15 May 2017. 

External links

Media related to Keflavík International Airport at Wikimedia Commons

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