10/08/1998: Gardermoen Replaces Oslo Fornebu Airport

10/08/1998: Gardermoen Replaces Oslo Fornebu Airport

DALLAS – Today in Aviation, Oslo Fornebu Airport (FBU), which also served Eastern Norway, was replaced by Gardermoen Airport (OSL) in 1998. 

FBU was officially opened on June 1, 1939, when a KLM DC-2 arrived from Amsterdam (AMS). However, Lufthansa (LH) had the honor of being the first airline to land at the airport, when a Junkers Ju-52 arrived on a test flight in September 1938.

The facility was then taken over by the German military during World War Two. This was until the state took over the running of the facility in 1946. Over the years, the single runway was extended on numerous occasions, and new terminal buildings were constructed.

However, it soon became clear that the airport would not be able to cope with the growing aviation market in Norway.

Scandinavian Airline System (SAS) was one of the facility’s biggest operators. Gardemoen Airport OSL, Oslo. Inaugural flight SK 921 Arlanda-Gardemoen-New York, 1961-04-19 with SAS DC-8 Dan Viking, OY-KTA. SAS director for Region Norway, Johan Nerum. Photo: SAS Scandinavian Airlines, Public domain

Gradual Move to Gardermoen

In 1972, all charter flights were moved from FBI to OSL. OSL opened its doors in 1912 as a military airfield. Talks began about building a new airport at five different locations: Askim, Ås, Nesodden, Hobøl, and Hurum. But these plans were quickly rejected.

It was then decided that OSL would become the new airport for Oslo. This was, however, met with controversy, owing to the inclement weather conditions due to the airfield’s high altitude.

Construction of the new airport began in earnest in August 1994. A new passenger terminal was built along with a new easterly-facing runway. The last flight took off from FBU on the evening of October 7.

300 people then set about transporting 500 truckloads of equipment overnight to the new facility. The first flight from OSL was operated by Color Air (CL) the following morning.

OSL Tower. Photo: KS-U92 – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=17004840

Featured image: Gardermoen started life as a military airfield in 1912. In 1972, all charter flights were moved to the airport from FBU. Then, on October 8, 1998, the airport became the main facility serving Oslo. (Photo: Avinor Oslo lufthavn/Espen Solli – http://www.mynewsdesk.com/material/image/856886/download?resource_type=resource_image, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=60878983)

European Deputy Editor
Writer, aviation fanatic, and Airways European Deputy Editor, Lee is a plant geek and part-time Flight Attendant for a UK-based airline. Based in Liverpool, United Kingdom.

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