Trondheim Airport, Værnes (IATA: TRD, ICAO: ENVA) (Norwegian: Trondheim lufthavn, Værnes) is located in Stjørdal, Nord-Trøndelag, 10 NM (19 km; 12 mi) east of Trondheim. This is a regional airport, serving Sør-Trøndelag and Nord-Trøndelag counties. In addition, it also serves as a hub for the southern part of Nordland county. It is owned and operated by Avinor in conjunction with the Royal Norwegian Air Force.
Værnes is the fourth largest airport in Norway, and had 57,402 civil air movement and 3,474,264 passengers in 2008. Scheduled domestic flights are offered by four airlines to 18 destinations, while four operators offer 14 international destinations, including daily flights to Amsterdam, Copenhagen, London and Stockholm. Charter operators offer 12 additional destinations on regular basis. Værnes is a hub for regional airports in northern Nord-Trøndelag and southern Nordland, with numerous flights using Dash 8 aircraft operated by Widerøe. The most important route is the route to Oslo, with about 33 daily flights with Boeing 737 aircraft. This route is the ninth largest route in Europe.
The airport has two terminals. Domestic terminal A was opened in 1994, and is equipped with skybridges. The old main terminal, opened in 1982, has been renamed terminal B and is used for international flights. It has now been renovated including a new larger duty free store. In August 2009 opens the brand new Radisson Blu Trondheim Airport Hotel, adjesent to terminal A and airport train terminal.
Transport to Trondheim is by taxi, car, bus or train, all taking approximately 30 minutes. The rail service has northbound and southbound departures every hour with the commuter train Trønderbanen. Værnes was the first airport in Northern Europe to have a railway station in the terminal, located between Hell and Stjørdal on Nordlandsbanen. The highways E6 and E14 go past the airport. Taxi 24/7, and Airport Express Coaches go to the hotels in downtown Trondheim every 15 minutes (30 minutes on Saturdays).
The Norwegian Home Guard base for the Trøndelag district is connected to the airport. This is why the airport is large for a city of that size, as it was built during the Cold War to allow NATO military personnel to pass through to their forward deployed equipment stores, in case of war with the Soviet Union.
Military activity at Værnes started in 1887 when the Norwegian military bought Værnes farm and converted it to an army camp. On 26 March 1914 the first plane took off, a military Maurice Farman MF-7 "Longhorn". The first three permanent planes were stationed in 1919, in 1920 the first hangar was built, and in 1922 radio equipment was installed.
Vaernes in 1936
During the Second World War, on 9 April 1940 the German invasion forces occupied Norway and the Luftwaffe occupied Værnes with little resistance. Before the Germans arrived at Værnes the airport served as a mobilisation point in the first hours of the Norwegian Campaign, allowing the future garrison of Hegra Fortress to be equipped. The Germans forces started improving the airport, helped by thousands of Norwegian workers, within weeks having built a new runway. This new runway was used by the Germans to more effectively bomb the Norwegian and Allied forces on the Narvik front. By 1942 they had constructed three concrete runways, the longest 1 620 meters, and multiple hangars, bunkers and anti-aircraft artillery, totalling more than 100 buildings. There were probably at the most 2,000 German soldiers and 2,000 Norwegian labourers at Værnes during World War II. After the German capitulation on 8 May 1945 the Luftwaffe withdrew from Værnes.
After World War II the airport was left to the Royal Air Force, but they soon withdrew leaving the Norwegian military in charge. Numerous squadrons, including 332, 331 and 337 were stationed at Værnes in the post-war years. In 1952 the Royal Norwegian Air Force Pilot School was moved to Værnes, but in 1954 Ørland Main Air Station became the main air force base in Central Norway, and the majority of the armed air forces (with the exception of the school) moved to Ørland.
While Heimdal was the desired place for the civilian airport in Trøndelag, Norwegian authorities decided in 1951 to build a civilian airport at Værnes. NATO contributed towards the construction of the military part of the airport. The new airport was finished on 21 October1961.
Civilian aviation in Trøndelag started in 1937, when Det Norske Luftfartselskap (DNL) started seaplane services from Ilsvika and Jonsvannet in Trondheim. These were terminated during World War II, but taken up again by the Royal Air Force and the Royal Norwegain Air Force during the summer of 1945. They were terminated in November due to the weather and RAF's withdrawal. The following year, DNL started services again, this time from Hommelvik. During winter, the route was not operated. The service was operated with a Sandringham air boat to Oslo and Northern Norway, and a Junkers Ju-52 to Western Norway. The southbound and northbound Sandringhams and the Junkers all met at Hummelvik to exchange passengers. There was only room for two planes at the quay, so the third aircraft had to be anchored in the fjord. In 1947, the airport had 3,500 passengers. On 2 October 1948, the Bukkene Bruse Accident occured, where a Sandringham aircraft crashed during landing, killing 19 people. In 1949, a reserve airport was built at Skogn, and people were transported from Hommelvik to Skogn with the Norwegian State Railways' Nordland Line in case the reserve airport was used. DNL became part of Scandinavian Airlines System (SAS) in 1951—the last year it used Hommelvik. Vestlandske Luftfartsselksap continued to use Hommelvik for some more year.
Braathens SAFE started their route from Oslo Airport, Fornebu via Hamar Airport, Stafsberg and Røros Airport on 18 August 1953. However, they chose to operated their de Havilland Herons from Trondheim Airport, Lade, just a few kilometers outside of the city center, in days with clear weather. Braathens SAFE moved to Værnes in 1956.
After World War II, there was only general aviation at Værnes, organized by Værnes flyklubb and NTH flyklubb. From 1 August 1946 to 31 July 1947, there were 1,221 take-offs from Værnes, mostly during the summer. During parts of 1946 and 1947, the airport was used as a pasture for sheep. The first scheduled service was introduced with a Douglas DC-3 operated to Oslo by DNL during the winter of 19467–48. While there were many customers initially, the lack of sufficient de-icing caused low regularity and fewer customers through the season. The route was not reopened the following year. SAS moved its seaplane services to Værnes in 1952, and two year later started flying the route Oslo–Trondheim–Bodø using Saab Scandia aircraft.
The first terminal was half a 100-square-metre (1,100 sq ft) barracks located beside a military hangar. The whole barracks was taken into use in 1958, doubling the area. In 1963, the airport had 115,000 passengers, increasing to 195,000 the following year. That year, SAS started using the Sud Aviation Caravelle jet aircraft on their route. The Parliament of Norway passed the construction of a new 2,000-square-metre (22,000 sq ft) terminal, that opened on 5 December 1965. In 1966, Widerøe started a seaplane route from Værnes onwards to Namsos, Rørvik, Brønnøysund, Sandnessjøen, Mo i Rana and Bodø. To serve the seaplanes, a quay was established at Hell. On 1 July 1968, four airports in Helgeland opened, Namsos Airport, Høknesøra, Brønnøysund Airport, Brønnøy, Sandnessjøen Airport, Stokka and Mo i Rana Airport, Røssvoll. These were served by Widerøe with the land planes de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter.
In 1976, charter planes started operating to Trondheim after a barracks was rebuilt to facilitate a border control. Several plans for a lager terminal were made, but these were delayed. In the late 1970s, the tarmac was expanded and a new taxiway. The third terminal opened as an extention of the old one in May 1982. It was 5,500 square metres (59,000 sq ft) and the old terminal was converted to a cafeteria. Due to a heavy increase in traffic, the new terminal quickly became too small. In 1988, smaller adjustments, including new washrooms and longer baggage belts were installed.
The fourth and current terminal was opened on 15 November 1994. It was 15,000 square metres (160,000 sq ft) and had place for eight planes, of which five had jet bridges. Værnes became the first airport in the Nordic Countries with a train station in the terminal, when Trondheim Airport Station on the Nordland Line opened. In March 1996, the old terminal was named Terminal B and all international flights were moved there. A new taxiway, that extended the full length of the runway, was opened in 1999. A new tower opened in 2005, and Terminal B was renovated in 2006.
After decades long services between Værnes and Oslo by SAS and Braathens SAFE, low-cost carrier Color Air started flying the route in 1998. This led to a fierce price war, and up to 50 daily flights between the two airports, making the route one of the ten most trafficked routes in Europe. But Color Air went bankrupt, and later Braathens was bought by SAS and merged to SAS Braathens.
With the introduction of Color Air, the number of flights to Oslo increased to 39. This made the route the fourth busiest in Europe in terms of the number of aircraft. During this period, there were 84 daily departures to all destinations from Værnes. In April 2000, the number of services by the main airlines was reduced to under that of before Gardermoen opened, with 75 daily departures. Braathens had 33 daily departures, SAS had 22 and Widerøe had 20. Of Braathens service, 14 were to Oslo, 15 to cities on the West Coast (of which four were operated by Norwegian Air Shuttle) and four were to Bodø, Harstad/Narvik and Tromsø. SAS operated 15 daily flights to Oslo, while eight were operated to Bodø, Harstad/Narvik and Tromsø. One flight was to their main hub in Copenhagen. This was the last year that SAS used DC-9s to Trondheim, phasing in Boeing 737 Next Generation aircraft, supplemented by occasional MD-80s. Widerøe had 15 daily flights to STOL airports in Helgeland, and five flights to Sandefjord.
Following the SAS' take-over of Braathens in 2002, the two companies coordinated their routes. All flights from Trondheim to Oslo were taken over by SAS, who increased to 23 departures per day in each direction. This included a 30-minute headway from 06:30 to 09:30 and from15:30 to 19:00. This made the route Trondheim–Oslo the busiest in the country. The routes northwards were taken over by Braathens, who increased to six daily trips to Bodø with connections northwards. The daily trip with Braathens to Harstad/Narvik was replaced by a two round trips with SAS Commuter. Braathens retained the routes to the West Coast, with two flights to Ålesund and seven to Bergen. In addition, Norwegian Air Shuttle continued with two flights to Molde.
In 2003, Norwegian Air Shuttle started competing on the route to Oslo.
Rail transport is offered from Trondheim Airport Station. The platform is about 190 metres (620 ft) from the check-in at the terminal. The station is 33.0 kilometres (20.5 mi) from Trondheim Central Station. There is no manned ticket sale, but a vending machine for tickets is located in the airport terminal. Luggage trolleys are available.
Norges Statsbaner operates both commuter and express trains from Trondheim Airport. In each direction, there are three daily express trains, one to Mo i Rana and two to Bodø. One of the Bodø-trains is a night train. Travel time to Mo i Rana is 6 hours and travel time to Bodø is 9 hours and 5 minutes. The Mo i Rana-service is opeated with Class 93-trains, while the Bodø-services are operated with Di 4-hauled trains.
The Trøndelag Commuter Rail offers hourly services in each direction: northbound to Steinkjer and southbound to Trondheim and Lerkendal. During peak hours, the frequency is doubled. Travel time to Trondheim is 38 minutes an to Lerkendal 51 minutes. Northwards, travel time to Levanger is 48 minutes, to Verdal 1 hour and 2 minutes, and to Steinkjer 1 hour and 26 minutes. The commuter rail is operated with Class 92-trains.
Coach and bus
Klæburuten operates the Airport Express Coaches four times hourly to Downtown Trondheim, stopping at major hotels, Trondheim Central Station and the Munkegata Terminal. Nettbuss operates city and regional buses to Selbu and Oppdal from the bus stop at Hell Center—five minutes walk from the airport. TrønderBilene operates Norway Bussekspress coaches to Namsos.
The airport is located along European Route E6 and E14. The airport has 3,000 paid parking places, both indoor and outdoor. Car rental is available from Avis, Budget, Europcar, Hertz and National. Taxis are available.
Inquiries about Avinor Trondheim Airport Værnes
Avinor, Trondheim Airport Værnes, 7500 Stjørdal, Norway
Avinor, Trondheim Airport, Værnes, Postboks 150, 2061 Gardermoen, Norway
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