25 November 2019

Relocation of cross-wind runway to future-proof Copenhagen Airport

A relocation of the cross-wind runway and new aircraft stands is to make room for new aircraft types and be an important component of the current transition of Copenhagen Airport. These are the main items of an updated master plan for the airport infrastructure presented by Copenhagen Airports A/S (CPH). The objective is to engage in dialogue with authorities, partners and neighbours on how we create Denmark’s future international airport. Following on from the master plan, the airport will proceed with its ambitious climate strategy to contribute to the transition of Danish aviation in a more sustainable direction. 

Since 1925, Copenhagen Airport has collaborated closely with airlines, partners and other stakeholders in Denmark and abroad to create fantastic travel experiences for millions of people. Travel not only creates cultural and human value, it also supports economic growth in Denmark and generates jobs. The master plan has been updated to support all that, and at the same time, the airport will work on a sustainable transition of Danish aviation.

“As a business, we aim to develop the airport in line with demand from passengers and airlines. We need to take a long-term approach to ensure that aircraft of the future can operate within the infrastructure we are planning for the years ahead. Consequently, the development of the airport must enable us to meet the needs of our surroundings, both in relation to capacity and climate, but also in terms of noise and air quality.  This is the essence of the updated master plan for Copenhagen Airport,” said Thomas Woldbye, CEO of Copenhagen Airports.

The master plan constitutes the long-term development plan for the airport. CPH anticipates that the master plan will require an update of the airport’s legal, environmental and planning basis. This may take several years, and it is therefore important to get started now to ensure that new capacity will be available for use when necessary.

Relocating the cross-wind runway to make room for new aircraft stands

Copenhagen Airport is in the process of expanding several parts of the terminal areas. These expansions are being carried out within the scope of the existing master plan and on the existing legal, environmental and planning basis. Construction at the airport may in some cases require specific exemptions from local plans etc. However, it is important to emphasise that the work currently underway is taking place independently of the updated master plan and within CPH’s existing master plan.

New and larger aircraft types are currently being developed; they emit less noise and less CO2 than the majority of existing aircraft types. Some the existing aircraft stands will not be able to accommodate the larger and more modern aircraft types that many airlines are currently investing in. And the present framework for use of the airport’s area does not provide for the possibility of building new and up-to-date aircraft stands. Thus, there is a need for an updated plan specifying how the airport areas may be used.

With the support of the airlines SAS, Norwegian and DAT, Copenhagen Airport recommends relocating the cross-wind runway in order to build new aircraft stands.

“One of our key tasks is to develop an attractive and efficient airport. This means that Copenhagen Airport must have the necessary capacity for passengers and airlines – and room for the better and larger aircraft types that are underway. These aircraft types emit less noise and CO2 than the old types. Several airlines have already invested in the new aircraft types. It’s in everyone’s interest that we act now so that we can provide the necessary capacity for these aircraft types at our airport in future,” said Woldbye.

CPH expanding within the existing area – and observing applicable noise limits

All the suggested changes to the master plan will be carried out within the airport’s existing area. Moreover, all the planned changes will take place within the noise limits which the airport must observe today.

“We know that noise is a major issue for our neighbours. Consequently, it is a key priority in the collaboration between airlines and our other partners to ensure that we observe the current noise limits. We will continue to monitor noise levels 24 hours a day and will focus on noise prevention initiatives, such as noise berms,” explained Woldbye.

The shortening of the cross-wind runway will mean that it can only be used for take-off and landing from the Øresund. This will have the positive effect that aircraft will not fly over the city of Copenhagen when using the cross-wind runway and that areas west of the airport can be released for development by the Municipality of Tårnby. The airport expects that it may take several years for the authorities to process the application. In the meantime, Copenhagen Airport will engage in ongoing dialogue with neighbours about the positive and negative consequences of the master plan and about any measures that can be initiated to limit noise from the airport.

CPH maintains its ambition for a sustainable transition of Danish aviation

While implementing the master plan, CPH will continue to invest in and contribute to the targeted efforts to reduce aviation’s CO2 emissions.

CPH also supports the establishment of a climate fund that can provide funding for the transition of Danish aviation in a CO2 neutral direction. In addition, the airport will actively support measures aimed at initiating Danish production of sustainable jet fuel. The aim is for this to be an important driver for the green transition of aviation – while at the same time having the potential to become a new Danish export adventure.

Open dialogue on the future

In the near future, CPH plans to submit an application to the Danish Transport, Construction and Housing Authority for permission to relocate the cross-wind runway and build new aircraft stands.

Expectations are that this will require an update of the existing legal, environmental and planning basis, including a consultation process with involvement of all neighbours, partners and others interested in the development of the airport’s area. CPH supports an open process focused on dialogue.

“Copenhagen Airport is Denmark’s international airport. We invite everyone interested in the transition and development of the future airport to participate in the dialogue. It is our hope that an open process can create the basis for developing even better joint solutions for the airport of the future – in dialogue with airlines, businesses, neighbours and other partners,” concluded Woldbye.

Read more about Copenhagen Airport’s transition to the future at cph.dk.