Copenhagen Airport plans major expansion

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Copenhagen Airport is currently the busiest airport in Scandinavia, serving over 24 million passengers last year. And now the owners are looking to expand.

In a plan that looks roughly 25 years into the future, CPH which which manages both of  Copenhagen’s Airports hopes to nearly double capacity from 24 to 40 million passengers to attract greater numbers of tourists and to attract new business and investment.

Unlike other European airports, CPH is not planning a new terminal but instead favouring a phased plan to expand the existing one. According to Copenhagen Airport CEO Thomas Woldbye, “…building new, separate terminals is not an optimal solution. A phased expansion offers several advantages. Eighteen months of analysis work has shown us that, with this approach, we can avoid building excess capacity, secondly, it allows us to keep the airport’s compact layout ‘under one roof’, which is important and thirdly, a phased expansion allows us to adjust our process to match the increase in traffic and lets us make use of the latest technology,”

Along with expansion of the terminal, the plans also incorporate bigger commercial space comprising a new hotel with conference facilities, bigger retail space and better high speed connections to Oslo and Hamburg. A new station will reflect the importance of quick connectivity to grow passenger numbers and the potential for the airport to continue its place as a key transport hub for Northern Europe. Currently there are rail links from Terminal 3 to Copenhagen’s Nørreport Station and regional Oresundtrain services to Copenhagen Central Station.

All this ambition also means job creation. According to international surveys, the additional 16 million passengers will generate an additional 16,000 jobs at the airport, bringing the total number of jobs in the airport area to more than 40,000. There will be more work to do for a number of support functions as well, corresponding to about 8,000 jobs outside the airport area bringing the total to 24,000.

This growth in employment and tourism can only occur with better business investment and collaboration between municipalities, organisations and businesses from both Denmark & Sweden as well as beyond. As Thomas Woldbye elaborates, “We have presented a vision for the expansion of Copenhagen Airport, and we can and must build the capacity required to handle 40 million passengers a year. But our plan can only be realised if all the relevant parties in the region collaborate. We saw it in Barcelona: since hosting the Olympic Games in 1992, the city has turned into a tourist destination at the top of the European league, and we are currently seeing how the whole region around Istanbul is booming because the airport and airlines are collaborating with the entire region to generate economic growth. If everyone pulls together, we can also lay the foundation for 40 million travellers in this region over the next two to three decades.”

Jim Davis