About the airport

Facts about the airport

In 2018, over 26 million people traveled to or from Arlanda.

Passengers 2018

81 airlines fly from Stockholm Arlanda

Total: 181 destinations

3 take-off and landing runways
(3,300 m, 2,500 m and 2,500 m)

17,500 employees

Stockholm Arlanda Airport is located in the municipality of Sigtuna.


Historical facts about Stockholm Arlanda Airport

In 1946, the Riksdag (Swedish Parliament) agrees to establish a major airport next to Lake Halmsjön. At the time, air traffic flies out of Bromma Stockholm.

Construction on the airport begins in 1952. The economy is in a slump, so a simple concrete runway – the Halmsjön Runway – is built.

On November 26, 1954, the first official flight from Bromma to Halmsjön takes off. The inaugural pilot, Georg Lindow, says to the press, "Nowhere else in the world have I seen a newly constructed runway that was designed as stupidly as the Halmsjön Runway".

The concrete runway is nicknamed “the hump runway” because of its corkscrew-like shape and is little used. Several years later, the Halmsjön Runway is converted into what is today the taxiway by Runway 2.

The new airport is to be christened. A competition to name it is announced in Året Runt magazine in 1958, but the jury does not like any of the names and instead puts forward its own suggestion, Arlanda, since the airport is located in the parish of Husby-Ärlinghundra, known in popular parlance as Arland. The name “Stockholm-Arlanda Airport” is approved by the Riksdag.

The main runway, Runway 1, is opened in 1959. The airport starts to be used for scheduled service. On June 23, 1960, a Scandinavian Airlines System (SAS) Douglas DC-8 takes off on the first scheduled flight to New York. The present-day field garage serves as the terminal. The airport’s first hangar, “the DC8 hangar”, is built.

On April 1, 1962, “Stockholm-Arlanda Airport” is officially declared open by King Gustav VI Adolf. International flights are moved from Bromma to Stockholm Arlanda.

The international terminal, “Arlanda International” (now Terminal 5), is inaugurated in 1976 by King Carl XVI Gustav. All international flights, scheduled and charter, are moved here.

Domestic Terminal 1 (now Terminal 4) is inaugurated in 1983 by King Carl XVI Gustav and Queen Silvia. On January 1, 1984, SAS’s domestic service and Linjeflyg move here (from Bromma).

It turns out that the terminal is 25 percent too small from the very beginning. That is because domestic traffic has grown far more than was forecast.

Domestic 2 (now Terminal 2) is inaugurated in 1990 by Prince Bertil. SAS moves its domestic flights here. However, a tough recession reduces passenger numbers, and SAS moves out again in 1992. The terminal is reconfigured for both domestic and international flights. The terminals are now given new names with numbers (2, 3, 4, 5).

The economy is recovering and air travel is increasing as never before. It is crowded at Stockholm Arlanda. On November 10, 1998, the official ground-breaking for Runway 3 takes place. After this, construction soon begins on a new air traffic control tower, a new fire station and a new terminal (a third pier for Terminal 5). In 1999, the high-speed train Arlanda Express begins service between the Stockholm Central Station and Stockholm Arlanda.

The airport must be adapted before Sweden joins the Schengen area in 2001. This entails major reconfigurations in Terminals 2 and 5. Terminal 2 now becomes solely an international terminal, and Terminal 5 gets a fourth level in order to separate Schengen area travellers from passengers travelling from “a third country.”

On December 23, 2001, the new air traffic control tower, 83 metres high, is placed in service. In January 2002, a new pier in Terminal 5 is also placed in service.  The tower, pier and runway are then inaugurated by Crown Princess Victoria on May 29, 2002. But there is no inaugural flight that day – instead, it takes place on April 17, 2003, when the third runway can finally be placed in service.

On the 100th anniversary of the Wright Brothers’ first flight, December 17, 2003, Infrastructure Minister Ulrika Messing inaugurates Stockholm Arlanda’s total expansion – Runway 3, the third pier in Terminal 5, the new air traffic control tower and the railway into Arlanda C train station.

In 2006 Cargo City at Stockholm Arlanda inaugurated.

Jumbo Hostel, the world’s first hotel in a jumbo jet, is established in 2008 at the airport entrance.

In 2009 Stockholm Arlanda is the world’s first airport to be certified at the highest level of the European Airport Carbon Accreditation (ACA) programme, which assesses the climate impact of airports.

LFV is split into two in 2010. The airport company Swedavia is formed and takes overall control of Sweden’s ten most important airports.

Clarion Hotel Arlanda Airport is inaugurated in November 2012 as the first component of Airport City Stockholm. Commuter trains between Stockholm and Uppsala begin serving Stockholm Arlanda, which enables the airport to reach one of its most important environmental targets: now 51 percent of passengers take mass transit to the airport.

A completely refurbished Terminal 2 is inaugurated in May 2013, with 2,500 new square metres of new transit areas, shops and restaurants. The Sky Bridge mini mall is also built as a new part of SkyCity, connecting the building with Hotel Clarion. A number of new shops and restaurants open. Air travel grows by leaps and bounds, and there is great pleasure when Norwegian Air Shuttle launches long-haul service from Arlanda and the five-star airline Emirates begins operating its Stockholm Arlanda–Dubai route. All of Arlanda’s terminals start to become crowded.

In 2015 Swedavia launches its long-term plan to develop Stockholm Arlanda Airport – over the next 30 years, SEK 13 billion will be invested in the airport. The goal is to be Scandinavia’s leading airport!

Role of the airport

Stockholm Arlanda Airport stands for efficient transport services − primarily by air, but also through good ground transport services to and from the airport. Efficient transport facilitates the exchange of ideas, goods and services – an essential requirement for economic growth and prosperity in Sweden and the region. But what are the role and significance of the airport in more concrete terms?

Stockholm Arlanda Airport is located in the heart of Scandinavia. Internationally, the airport is a hub for traffic to and from Scandinavia and the Baltic Sea region. Stockholm Arlanda currently has the strongest route network in this area − with a total of 180 different destinations, nationally and internationally.

Ground traffic hub

In the Stockholm region, Stockholm Arlanda is also a hub for ground traffic, with good road connections, bus routes, long-distance trains, high-speed trains (Arlanda Express) and commuter trains. But there is still a great deal of room for improvement when it comes to regional public transport – today driving a car is the only alternative from a number of areas.

The airport generates more jobs

There are some 600 companies and organisations with about 17,000 employees at Stockholm Arlanda Airport. The airport indirectly generates an additional 1,000 jobs per million passengers and around 2,000 jobs in the region for taxi drivers, day care staff and more. This translates to more than 50,000 jobs in addition to those at the airport itself.

Stockholm Arlanda important for tourism

Foreign visitors spend SEK 60 billion a year in Sweden on shopping, accommodation and food. This is more than the country’s car exports, more than its pharmaceutical exports and ten times more than its music exports. Travel is also expected to increase, and Stockholm Arlanda Airport plays an important role here.

International travel is expected to increase 4 per cent annually to 2020, and Stockholm Arlanda plays a critical role in taking advantage of the potential found going forward – for the Stockholm region and for Sweden.

The airport’s importance for exports and business

Sweden is one of the countries with the greatest dependence on exports, and exports rely on goods and services being sold on site, out in the world, since many transactions are carried out through meetings between people. Air travel to and from Stockholm Arlanda is important for companies whose employees travel on business to make deals in other countries and elsewhere in Sweden. Furthermore, each year goods worth about 90 billion Swedish kronor are flown around the world from Sweden. Examples of goods that require air cargo for export are electronics and pharmaceuticals.

Some 25 per cent of the Swedish population lives in the Stockholm region, and the region accounts for more than 30 per cent of Sweden’s GDP.  The Stockholm region’s contribution to GDP is thus larger than that of any other region in the country. Surveys show that over half of the companies in the Stockholm region consider Stockholm Arlanda Airport to be critical or very important to operations. Stockholm Arlanda ranks sixth in company evaluations of 13 different factors for success.

Stockholm Arlanda’s role for culture and knowledge

Air travel is also important to the exchange of both culture and knowledge. Sweden is a country with a rich knowledge base, with universities and specialist companies that depend on good transport to exchange knowledge and experience with the rest of the world. Another example is sport. To rank among the best, people have to compare themselves with the best and be able to fly to a competition – no matter where in the world it is held. The 180 routes that Stockholm Arlanda Airport offers to destinations in Sweden, elsewhere in Europe and the world are thus important to ensure that ideas, the economy and prosperity grow.

Regional collaboration for development going forward

Being part of the region and working to drive development forward is important for Stockholm Arlanda. The airport therefore takes part in a number of different collaboration mechanisms.


Regional collaboration

Stockholm Arlanda is an integral part of the region the airport operates in. This is why it is very important for us to join with partners in efforts to develop the Stockholm region into the obvious choice for business people, travellers and visitors to Scandinavia, thereby strengthening Stockholm’s role as ‘The Capital of Scandinavia’.

You can read more here about the various collaborative projects that Stockholm Arlanda takes part in, presented in alphabetical order.

ABC collaboration

The ABC collaboration between the municipalities along the Stockholm-Uppsala corridor, which Swedavia also takes part in, deals with planning development in the municipalities over a thirty-year horizon. This includes housing, jobs, traffic solutions and transport.

Arlanda Forum

A forum in which local and regional decision-makers – both civil servants and politicians – discuss how access to Stockholm Arlanda Airport can be improved. Enhancing the Stockholm region’s international access – and thus developing, among other things, Stockholm Arlanda and Bromma Stockholm Airports – has a great bearing on the continued development of the expanding Stockholm region. The Arlanda Forum includes a number of participants in addition to Swedavia, such as the Stockholm County Administrative Board, the City of Stockholm, the Stockholm County Council, the Stockholm County Association of Local Authorities, the Swedish Transport Administration, the Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth, Region Uppsala and the Municipality of Sigtuna.

Arlanda Logistic Network

Cargo and freight forwarding are important elements of Stockholm Arlanda’s operations and play a significant role in the Stockholm Arlanda region. This is an established network for market players that work in the logistics industry, directly or indirectly. Here they collaborate on matters concerning access, the environment, training and marketing.

Arlanda Region

This extensive collaborative body for the so-called Arlanda region, that is, the Municipalities of Sigtuna, Knivsta, Upplands Väsby and Vallentuna, including Swedavia Stockholm Arlanda Airport, addresses regional development in terms of traffic infrastructure, residential construction, business development and environmental issues. It deals with issues that are important not just to the region but to Sweden as a whole.

Connect Sweden

An apolitical collaborative forum including businesses, public sector organisations, the City of Stockholm, the region, Swedavia and other stakeholders. The aim is to establish at least five new international direct routes from Stockholm Arlanda Airport to elsewhere in Europe, North America and Asia within three years and thus strengthen Stockholm Arlanda’s position as Scandinavia’s leading airport.

Mälardal Council

Stockholm Arlanda Airport is part of the Mälardal Council’s Infrastructure group, which is entrusted with the task of generating knowledge and promoting coordination on infrastructure issues in the Lake Mälare region. The objective is to identify important projects in the region and give these priority in light of future government infrastructure proposals. In order to further underline the importance of infrastructure issues, the airport takes part in the work to draft regional development plans for both Stockholm and Uppsala.

Collaboration with local noise abatement associations

Stockholm Arlanda Airport meets representatives of the noise abatement associations in nearby communities such as Upplands Väsby, Sollentuna and Rosersberg several times per year. Among other things, these meetings have resulted in a number of suggestions for noise-reduction measures, some of which have been implemented or are in the process of being implemented.

Tourism industry

Stockholm Arlanda Airport is also active in a number of marketing initiatives aimed at attracting travellers to Stockholm and the Lake Mälare region. The airport has a seat on the board of Destination Sigtuna AB. 


Are you are a aviation enthusiast eager to see airplanes land and take off from right up close? If so, visit the viewpoint at Lake Halmsjön.

The viewoint is located on a hill alongside Lake Halmsjön, on the road towards Almunge/Norrtälje right near the northern end of Runway 3. Taxiway W, which is used by aircraft to get to and from Terminal 5 and the other eastern parts of the airport, goes just past the hill.

There is a large rain shelter with seating on the hill. On the other side of the lake, you can also find a small beach area if you feel like a swim.

The viewpoint is built by Arlanda in association with the Swedish Aviation Historical Society (SFF).

Directions by car

Take road 273 towards Almunge/Norrtälje (signposted from the main entrance and from Märsta). Turn left immediately after the second taxiway bridge, by the signs Skogsvägen and Utsiktsplats (‘Viewpoint’). The hill is on the right and parking can be found up on the hill.

Directions by public transport

Take the Stockholm transport (SL) bus 583, Märsta-Arlanda, and continue past the terminals. If you are boarding the bus at the terminals, travel in the direction of "Arlanda." Get off at the Skogsvägen/Östra Hangarvägen bus stop, which is located just below the hill and is the final stop on the bus route.

Aviation exhibition

Did you know that there is a collection of aviation history from the last century in the Arlanda area?

In a building resembling a hangar, you can experience the comfort of a plane from the 1930s. Climb also on board and take a trip back in time to the days when aviation was something revolutionary. Everything from advanced home-made models to meticulously restored commercial aviation equipment is presented in the exhibition through a dozen aircraft engines and a number of flight simulators.

"Even though the main target group is aviation enthusiasts, the general public is more than welcome to discover the interesting history of aviation which can be followed in our collection," says Bertil Boberg, one of the driving forces keeping the collection alive. 

"All restorations and displays are done on a voluntary basis with the suppoirt of Swedavia (the State enterprise that runs Sweden's main airports) and the Swedish National Museum of Science and Technology, so we don't really have any resources to be open to the public. But since we are still here working on the restorations, we want to make the collection available to anyone who is interested," says Mr Boberg.

Opening hours

Visit the exhibition on Tuesdays and Thursdays 10:00–15:00, and the first Saturday of every month that is not a holiday.

How to find us

When you arrive at the Arlanda area, take road 273 and turn off at the Radisson SAS Arlandia Hotel. The hanger building is located right behind the hotel.


Arlanda Flygsamlingars Vänner

ABA SAS Historical (in swedish only)