Bergen International Airport provides air services to and from Bergen, Norway. The airport, known by the airport code BGO, is actually located at the village of Flesland near Bergen. The airport handles about 5 million passengers per year and trails only the Oslo airport in passenger volume in Norway.
During the Cold War, NATO maintained facilities there and held training exercises on a regular basis. Whether the airfield ever held nuclear weapons is a matter of conjecture. The military presence continued until 1999 the airfield served as an operations base for the Norwegian Air Force when the base was closed. The Norwegian Navy maintains a small force at the airport and the airfield is still part of NATO contingency plans in case of war.
The airport also continues to serve as a general aviation field. Most charter flight services and sport flying services maintain hangers on the fringe of the airport.
During World War II, German aircraft operated from the nearby island of Herdla. After the war, this airfield was discounted because of the travel difficulties between the island and the city of Bergen. After extensive research, the Flesland location was chosen despite high costs to level ground for runways. Construction began in 1952 and saw its first air operations in 1954. International service began in the 1960s with trans-Atlantic flights. Additional upgrades and enhancements have been almost continuous since its opening.
Bergen Airport Amenities
Parking is one of the areas upgraded over the years. When initially constructed, a parking area of 70 spaces was constructed. The current parking facility includes spaces for about 3,500 vehicles with about one third under a roof. The airport provides shuttle bus services between the parking areas and the terminals.
Bergen International Airport
Currently, the single terminal operates at near capacity. Planned upgrades include a new terminal with a stated capacity of 10 million people. Until the new terminal is constructed, passengers may feel crowded especially at peak travel times and when passing through areas such as security and baggage claim. The terminal includes 11 gates numbered beginning with Gate 21.
Bergen International Airport also operates a helicopter terminal. The airport’s location along the west coast of Norway makes it a handy point for helicopter operations to the oil and gas rigs in the North Sea. The airport averages about 60 helicopter flights per day. The North Sea energy industry is also a contributing factor to the increasing passenger traffic in the general airport.
Aircraft arriving and departing from Bergen International Airport utilize a single runway. This 3,000 meter strip sees about 100,000 takeoffs and landings each year and is equipped with instrument landing systems and lights. There are no size or noise restrictions in place at the airport. The airport operates around the clock with a stated capacity of 20 takeoffs or landings each hour.
Planned upgrades for the air operations segment of the airport include improvements to the instrument landing system for safer operations in inclement weather. Long-term planning includes a second runway for smaller commercial aircraft. Time tables for some of these improvements place them as late as 2060 and are subject to change and revision.