CPH Airport expansion plans hit SAS turbulence

Axing runway cross-section could have dire ramifications for the airline

Copenhagen Airport’s plans to expand to accommodate more passengers have encountered some stern headwind following the assertion by several airlines that they will face dire consequences.

The airport’s plans, CPH Expanding, include scrapping its runway cross-section from where planes can take off and land under particular wind conditions – a move that has irked airlines such as SAS.

“Closing that cross-section will have serious consequences for SAS and passengers,” Lars Wigelstorp Andersen, the head of SAS’s public affairs and infrastructure, told takeoff.dk.

“If the airport builds on the take-off and landing runway we use when there is a particularly strong wind from the northwest or southeast, the airport will be closed about 25 times per year. That means 500 cancelled flights for SAS alone and an even greater number of delays.”

READ MORE: Copenhagen Airport among Europe’s fastest growing

Price of growth
Thomas Cook Airlines is another airline that has lamented the plans, arguing the decision could end up costing the company loads of money.

However, the airport has ascertained that the move, which is part of its plans to increase its annual passenger capacity from 26.6 to 40 million, would only result in 60 cancellations per year.

“We are focusing on growing, and if SAS and other airlines want to do the same, it will require an expansion of the airport,” said Thomas Woldbye, the CEO of Copenhagen Airport.