Kristiansand Airport, Kjevik (IATA: KRS, ICAO: ENCN) is situated 4.3 NM (8.0 km; 4.9 mi) northeast of the city Kristiansand, Vest-Agder in southern Norway, located 16 km (9.9 mi) from the city centre. The airport serves the Agder district with domestic and international flights. In 2008 the airport had 915,092 passengers. The airport is operated by Avinor. Travellers should make sure they avoid mixup with the Kristiansund Airport, Kvernberget located in the middle part of Norway.
The Royal Norwegian Air Force has a training centre at the airport.
In 1936, the city of Kristiansand decided to build an airport at Kongsgård, but later changed their minds and built it at Kjevik. The airport's construction started in 1938, and it was officially opened 1 June 1939, with a concrete runway of 1000 metres. In addition it had also a facility to land sea planes. The first plane to land officially was a DC-2 from KLM, flying from Oslo to Amsterdam.
World War II
When the Germans attacked Norway on 9 April 1940 the airport had a small group of soldiers attached to it. After some light attacks from passing German planes and rumors of advancing German forces, the Norwegian forces retreated after trying to block the runway with barbed wire. That was not very successful and at 16:30 in the afternoon a German Junkers Ju 52 that had participated in the attack on the airport at Sola managed to land. The runway was expanded to 1500 meters. The airport was quickly reinforced and already on 12 April it had 30 Messerschmitt Bf 109E stationed there. The notorious German SS leader Reinhard Heydrich who also was a Luftwaffe pilot was one also using the airport. During the rest of the war the airport played an important part in the German defence of occupied Norway. In June 1945 the airport was recapured by Royal Air Force and Royal Norwegian Air Force troops in the 132 N Wing.
In 1945 the Air Force moved its technical school to Kjevik. The same year the municipality gave the airport to the government, and has since been operated by Avinor. After the war Det Norske Luftfartsselskap started flying to Kristiansand with Junkers 52 sea planes. Later the airline moved its operations to Kjevik. Braathens S.A.F.E got a monopoly on flying to the airport in 1955 from Oslo, to begin with using De Havilland Heron aircraft. The next year, in 1956 the airline also started flying to Stavanger and Bergen. Later the airline stated using Fokker F-27, Fokker F-28, Boeing 737 and Fokker 50 aircraft. Scandinavian Airlines did not return with domestic flights until 1998 when the new airport at Gardermoen open and allowed the airline to start flying to Oslo.
In 1964 the runway was expanded to its present length; the land was acquired
by the municipality while the actual construction costs were financed
by the government. A few years later a new terminal was built.
Before the war Det Danske Luftfartsselskap (DDL) operated a route between Kristiansand, Aalborg and Copenhagen. After World War II Braathens SAFE started flying to the Danish capital, but it only lasted two years. In 1953 DNLs successor Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) started operating a route to their hub a Copenhagen Airport, Kastrup, with a stop in Aalborg. In 1970 Kristiansand got a direct route from Copenhagen. In 1973 the airline started operating Douglas DC-9 jet aircraft on the route, though had problems filling them up and switched to Fokker F27s, then later Fokker 50s operated by SAS Commuter Eurolink.
When SAS Commuter closed down its Copenhagen route in 1994, Maersk Air saw its chance and started flying to Copenhagen itself, using Fokker F50 aircraft with three daily departures. Later the airline switched to Boeing 737 and Canadair Regional Jets. Maersk Air also had a route to the earlier hub of Maersk Air, Billund (Denmark), for a short period (1.nov 2003-31.oct 2004). For a period the airline operated the aircraft onwards to London-Gatwick, thus giving a direct route to London from Kristiansand. But now the route has been taken over by SAS again, operated with Bombardier Q400 aircraft.
KLM started its route from Amsterdam to Oslo via Kristiansand right after the war. The route was operated until 1971, when it changed to Oslo-Gothenburg-Amsterdam. The airline used among others Convair 440 Metropolitan, Vickers Viscount and Lockheed L-188 Electra aircraft. In 1968 the airline was the first to operate scheduled jet aircraft, Douglas DC-9s, to the airport. In 1999 the airline tried again, with three daily KLM Cityhopper Fokker 50 direct flights to Amsterdam, but closed down after a year. But a few years later the airline started the route again, this time with Fokker 70 aircraft.
Between 1963 and 1981 Dan-Air of London operated a route between Newcastle and Kjevik. To begin with the airline used Airspeed Ambassadors, later switching to Hawker Siddeley HS 748s, De Havilland Comets and BAC One-Elevens. The airline also operated a route from London-Gatwick to Kristiansand for some time.
Starting in the fall of 1991, Widerøe Norsk Air flew on the route from its hub at Sandefjord Airport, Torp via Kjevik to London Stansted Airport using Fokker 50 aircraft. But there was too much capacity between Norway and London at the time and the airline closed the route after about a year.
Today, the airport links Kristiansand with Southern Norway and the rest of Europe, with direct flights to Bergen, Kristiansund (via Bergen), Stavanger and Oslo, in addition to Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Alicante, Gothenburg.
The airport is in dire need of an upgrade; the original 2,000 m (6,562 ft). runway has been shortened to 1,840 m (6,037 ft)[clarification needed], a new control tower (the airport currently operates video cameras to control the northern end of the runway)is needed, and a larger, two story terminal has been proposed.
However, airlines are opposing the building of jetways on Kjevik; the airport has the highest share of business flights in Norway as more than 50% of flights are for business purposes, and airlines therefore want to use passenger boarding stairs to keep the aircraft on the ground for shorter times (utilising two points of boarding, instead of one).
New route proposals include a second airline flying to Oslo (if Kredittilsynet
continues to ban bonus points domestically), a route to Trondheim (the
busiest route in Norway not directly connected), and flights to Germany.
There is a bus service with Kristiansand, Lillesand, Grimstad and Arendal.
Airport service hours
Inquiries about Avinor Kristiansand Airport
Avinor, Kristiansand Airport Kjevik, 4657 Kjevik, Norway
Avinor, Kristiansand Airport Kjevik, Postboks 150, 2061 Gardermoen, Norway
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