Property and hotel potential with Iceland airport growth

Iceland’s Keflavik International Airport is expanding in response to growth in passenger numbers and the size of the terminal is being increased by about a third. Alongside this a number of opportunities for external investors are emerging as new facilities are needed to serve the requirements of travellers.

Brynjar Vatnsdal, development manager, Keflavik Airport, explained that the developments are the first major project to take place since the airport was opened in the 1950s. In addition to a new taxiway the masterplan will add 200,000 sq m to the terminal alone.

“The challenge has been to grow in the way that we want to with service levels and everything else because the growth during the peak has been quite high,” Vatnsdal told Real FDI editor Courtney Fingar. “We are a hub airport so the peak hours are quite big in our case, probably bigger than in many cases in airports in Europe.”

He said that the main challenge has been to allow peak growth to occur but to ensure that the investment is utilised throughout each day and all year round.

There are opportunities for foreign investors and partners too and the airport is looking for help with finance and construction of a new hotel as well as for a hotel operator.

“That’s not our core business. We don’t really want to be in that area, so we’re looking for some sort of a concession on that for some decades,” Vatnsdal said.

The same is true of a proposed new logistics hub. “As a state owned company we are investing mostly in the terminal and airfield infrastructure, so we need investment in those support functions to be able to build them as quickly as we can and utilise the opportunities.”