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How COWI won master plan contest for Europe's fastest growing airport

Photo: Nordic

Making use of the airport's existing facilities in the best possible way for as long as possible was one of the main reasons COWI and the Norwegian architects, Nordic, won the design contest for a new master plan for Keflavik International Airport on Iceland.

​To meet increasing demands at the fast expanding Keflavik Airport, the Icelandic airport operator Isavia late 2014 invited six international teams to come up with their idea for a master plan to ensure the airport capacity as far ahead as 2040.

The proposal from COWI and Nordic was unanimously selected as the winning proposal. Optimizing the use of the airport's existing facilities, and the fact that the development can occur with minimum disturbance to the day-to-day operations were decisive factors for the selection committee.

"A key advantage of the proposal is that our design utilizes the airport's existing facilities in the best possible way for as long as possible. This is cost efficient for the client who can invest at a later point in the project phase," says Carsten Kærgaard, Senior Market Director, Airports, COWI.

In addition, sustainability, convincing land use and environmental plans are important features of the proposal.

The proposal includes a northward extension of the current terminal facility, and a future north-south runway.

COWI and Nordic

COWI and Nordic have previously collaborated on numerous large-scale airport development projects including the expansion of the airports at Oslo and Bergen in Norway, Entebbe in Uganda and Hyderabad in India.


By: Helen Marie Bennett,  hmbe@cowi.com
Published on: 27.03.2015


Keflavik International Airport is the fastest expanding airport in Europe. In 2014, the airport was appointed Europe's best. However, with the growing passenger rates, the airport capacity is under pressure. Last year the passenger rate rose to 4.5 million, and the airport expects an increase of 16 % in 2015.

LAST UPDATED: 24.03.2017