Reykjavik to sue State over airport
Reykjavik has decided to take the Icelandic State to court for allegedly backtracking on its commitment to close one on the city’s domestic airport’s three domestic runways.
The Reykjavik City Council majority claims that agreements entered into between the City and the State back in 2013 constitute a commitment on the part of the State to close the NE-SW runway at Reykjavik Airport (RKV) and alter land-use plans accordingly.
No intention of closing down runway
A letter dated 3 November 2015 from Icelandic Minister of Home Affairs Ólöf Nordal indicates that there is no intention at this stage of closing down the runway or amending land-use plans.
Reykjavik City accuses the Icelandic State of reneging on its agreements and exposing the capital to damage claims for not issuing development and construction permits for the area in which the domestic airport is located, known as Vatnsmýri.
Financial commitments have been made
“It has been a general assumption that this runway would be closed and financial commitments have been made on this basis,” says Mayor of Reykjavik, Dagur B. Eggertsson.
Nordal denies that the State is under any legal obligation to close the runway and that she, as Minister for Home Affairs, is “responsible for aviation matters and coherent transport strategy” and must “safeguard flight safety and the financial viability, efficiency and integration of the transport system.”
What does the future hold?
Reykjavik City Airport has been the subject of heated debate in Iceland for years.
Some object to its location for noise and safety reasons and on the grounds that it takes up prime city-centre space, and want to see it relocated. Opponents of such a move argue that its central location make it a vital link between the capital and the rest of the sparsely populated country.