Bodø can become the most important and best military airport in Norway, operationally speaking, but the authorities must act before it is too late, claim two former fighter pilots in an article in Forsvarets Forum.
The decision to close Bodø airport and move it south was made in 2012, when the European security situation was completely different, write Dag Falk-Pedersen (former CEO of Avinor) and Roar Strand.
For Norway, with its location in the important northern areas, dominance in the air must be secured by taking care of the necessary infrastructure so that fighter planes, transport planes, tanker planes and other activities can be landed. We are therefore dependent on several good and robust air bases in northern Norway.
The two do not criticise the decision to close down and relocate from 2012, nor the New City – New Airport concept, which they believe could give Bodø the best airport in Norway, but rather the defence management’s lack of perspectives:
It is planned to retain some infrastructure for military use, but in our opinion not nearly enough.
It will cost the US two billion kroner to build four shelters for fighter planes at Rygge. According to Defense Minister Bjørn Arild Gram, this has great significance for Norway’s security. If four shelters south of Oslo are of great importance to Norway’s security, how important would it be to maintain as many as possible in Bodø at almost no cost. With the closure of the combat aircraft base in Bodø and greatly reduced activity on Andøya, residual capacity in the northern areas has been greatly reduced. (The Defence Forum)
Bodø: It is planned to retain almost enough infrastructure for military use (Forsvarets Forum)