Kangerlussuaq Airport (Kalaallisut: Mittarfik Kangerlussuaq, Danish: Søndre Strømfjord Lufthavn) (IATA: SFJ, ICAO: BGSF) is an airport in Kangerlussuaq, a settlement in the Qeqqata municipality in central-western Greenland. Alongside Narsarsuaq Airport, it is one of only two civilian airports in Greenland large enough to handle large airliners, having more stable weather, being located further away from the coast, and hence less prone to fog and wind in comparison with other airports in Greenland. Kangerlussuaq airport is the international hub for Air Greenland.
Sondre Stromfjord Airport - Terminal at Kangerlussuaq Airport with two Dash-7s of Air Greenland in front
Airlines and destinations
Access to several research camps on Greenland ice sheet, including the Danish field camp North GRIP and the American Summit Camp, is handled through Kangerlussuaq via the 109th Airlift Wing of the New York Air National Guard.
The terminal is open for 24 hours during summer. Hotel Kangerlussuaq with a 70-room capacity and a restaurant is located within the terminal building of the airport, providing accommodation for transferring passengers. Other amenities include a night-club and a self-service bar during daytime. Several tourism outfitters share an office in the terminal, alongside the Tourist Office.
An airport was first built here by the US military in 1941, under the name Bluie West-8, later renamed Sondrestromfjord Air Base and Sondrestrom Air Base.
In the 1950s, transatlantic civilian flights began using the air base for refuelling. This use fell off in the 1960s as airliners gained greater range, but the base became the hub of Greenland air traffic.
The airport was handed over to civilian Greenlandic control in 1992.
At a late 2011 Air Greenland meeting, plans to move the main Greenland intercontinental air hub away from Kangerlussuaq were agreed upon. According to the 2011 plan three 1,199 meter airstrips will be built, a new airport at Qaqortoq, and extensions at Nuuk, and Ilulissat, and probably later new airports at Tasiilaq and Ittoqqortoormiit. These planned airstrips will be too short to host intercontinental flights, and a new 1,799 meter airstrip must be built before Kangerlussuaq can be closed. The main candidates for a new intercontinental airport are presently Nuuk and Qaqortoq. Alongside Kangerlussuaq, the airports at Narsarsuaq and Kulusuk (if Tasiilaq is built) will also be closed. Generally, a number of the airstrips have been built by the US defence at locations not near any major settlement, partly based on a Danish policy to hide the US presence in Greenland.
Sondre Stromfjord Airport - In May 1998 Greenlandair took the affair into its own hands to compeed with its parent company SAS with their first jetliner Boeing 757-236
Sondre Stromfjord Airport - First Air Boeing 727-233/Adv(F) C-GXFA at Kangerlussuaq Airport
Sondre Stromfjord Airport - Greenlandair Beech 200 Super King Air OY-NUK taxiing at Kangerlussuaq Airport
Sondre Stromfjord Airport - Air Alpha Cessna 208B Grand Caravan OY-TPG at Kangerlussuaq Airport. Hired by Tele Post Greenland for mail and parcel distribution
Sondre Stromfjord Airport - Air Greenland Boeing 757-236 at Kangerlussuaq
Sondre Stromfjord Airport - Air Greenland Airbus A330 at Kangerlussuaq
Sondre Stromfjord Airport - SAS operated flights to Greenland until March 2003, the route re-opened the spring 2007 until January 2009. The Boeing 767-383ER at Kangerlussuaq Airport (2001)
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