Limitations on international charter flights to/from Svalbard airport due to the COVID-19 pandemic

Svalbard lufthavn. Photo: Colourbox.com / Curioso.Photography

The Ministry of Transport has, in cooperation with the Ministry of Health and Care Services and the Ministry of Justice and Public Security, temporarily instructed the Civil Aviation Authority to put limitations on the international charter traffic to/from Svalbard airport Longyear, due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The health and rescue contingency at Svalbard is not sufficient to handle a large outbreak of Covid-19 and at the same time maintain necessary capacity for other incidents. Against this background, it has become necessary to put limitations on the tourism activities at Svalbard.

The Civil Aviation Authority is temporarily instructed not to give exceptions for international charter flights to/from Svalbard airport Longyear, which is a national airport.

However, if special circumstances occur, exceptions may still be granted, such as for flights that are necessary in order to ensure critical functions, transport of key personell in important businesses or activities, or conduct scientific activities. Whether there are special circumstances is to be determined in consultation with the Governor of Svalbard.

This temporary instruction will not have consequences for the application of the agreement with Russia from 1974 regarding the use of Svalbard airport. The temporary instruction remains in force until it is repealed.  

 

Published: 03. Jul 2020