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Environmental permit with constraints for Sweden

2013-11-28, kl. 17:17

Stockholm Arlanda Airport has been granted a new environmental permit. The decision means that the ban on straight approaches to Runway 3 from the south remains in place, which entails a threat to Stockholm’s and Sweden’s international access. As a result, it is Swedavia's intention to appeal today's ruling in the Land and Environmental Court.

Today the Land and Environmental Court of the Nacka District Court announced its decision granting Swedavia a new environmental permit for operations at Stockholm Arlanda Airport. As a result of the decision, Swedavia would like to note that the airport still has constraints as of January 1, 2018. This is troubling since it will have a negative impact on the future of Sweden, Stockholm and the airport.

“We want to continue developing direct routes with the rest of the world because we are convinced this leads to both economic and social benefits for our traditionally open Swedish society. The permit that we have just been given does not allow that kind of future,” says Torborg Chetkovich, chief executive of  Swedavia.

Stockholm Arlanda Airport already has a permit allowing aircraft to fly alongside Upplands Väsby in order to land on Runway 3, in a so-called curved approach. However, at present the equipment enabling this is only on board some aircraft, and the method requires special training for the pilot and a special permit for the airline. In order to carry out curved approaches on a larger scale, the procedure for handling them must also be approved by aviation safety authorities, both international and domestic – the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the Swedish Transport Authority.

“We want to be clear that the Land and Environmental Court’s decision means that the constraints on access within, to and from Sweden that we faced remain in place. Since we have no control over technological progress and thus cannot speed it up to any great extent, we are now obliged to declare that the ban on approaches starting in 2018 will make it impossible for Stockholm Arlanda to meet the demand for air travel in the near future,” says Kjell-Åke Westin, airport director at Stockholm Arlanda Airport.

The airport’s carbon dioxide emissions cap no longer applies but is replaced by an action plan to reduce emissions. That means Swedavia will no longer bear sole responsibility for carbon dioxide emissions from road traffic but will instead work together with other companies and organisations to jointly continue to reduce emissions in the airport area.

While the case was under way, Swedavia received considerable backing attesting to the importance of Stockholm Arlanda Airport. As a result, it is Swedavia's intention to appeal today's ruling in the Land and Environmental Court.