Copenhagen Airport is the largest airport in Scandinavia, serving Copenhagen and the surrounding regions, being only 8km from the city centre of the town of Kastrup on the Island of Amager (the airport is also only 24km from Malmo).

The airport serves both domestic and international traffic and is one of the three main hubs for the national airline Scandinavian Airlines System (SAS – part of the Star Alliance).

“Copenhagen Airport recently opened a new air traffic control tower.”

The airport, which has an area of 11.8km², operates with three runways – 04L/22R (3,600m / 11,811ft), 04R/22L (CAT3 – 3,300m / 10,827ft – parallel runways) and 12/30 (2,800m / 9,186ft – cross runway).

The facilities are comprehensive, with the three terminal buildings, a railway station, a car park, a police station, Gate Gourmet catering facility and four large maintenance hangars, as well as cargo terminals for DHL and SAS in the eastern area.

The airport terminals have 108 contact gates with nine domestic, 43 international with passenger aerobridges, 54 remote stands and two helicopter landing areas.

The airport is owned and operated by Copenhagen Airports A/S (owned by Macquarie Airports Copenhagen ApS (53.4%), Danish State (39.2%) and the rest by private investors).

The airport played host to 21.5 million passengers in 2010 and saw 245,640 aircraft movements. Copenhagen is the 17th-busiest airport in Europe and can handle around 83 aircraft movements an hour at full capacity.

Terminal features

The Copenhagen airport has three terminals. Opened in February 1969, the terminal 1 occupies 7,400m2. It was designed by Vilhelm Lauritzen architects to cater to domestic flight operations.

Terminal 1 was expanded in 1989. The expansion of the terminal was designed by KHRAS Arkitekter. The expanded terminal has six gates and seven inter-connected pavilions.

Terminal 2 has a total floor space of 34,500m2. It was opened in April 1960 and designed by Vilhelm Lauritzen.

Terminal 3 was opened in August 1998 and designed by Vilhelm Lauritzen and Thomas Scheel and Søren Daugbjerg. It features a total floor space of 44,000m2.

Around DKK 774.7m was invested in 2010 to expand and meliorate a new odd-size baggage drop and a ground water cooling system in third Terminal 3.

Copenhagen air traffic control tower

The airport recently opened a new air traffic control tower and in February 2008 announced it had installed NAV CANADA technology for the new 70m tower to monitor and guide aircraft in the airport and surrounding airspace.

“Copenhagen Airport serves both domestic and international traffic.”

The extended computer display system (EXCDS), the advanced ‘paperless’ flight-data system, was installed through collaboration between Naviair (Danish navigation service) and NAV CANADA.

The Danish version of this air traffic management system is called NITOS (Naviair Integrated Tower Operating System) and this is now a fully operational part of the ATC systems at Copenhagen tower.

Morten Dambæk, director general of Naviair, said: “This system improves efficiency and enhances the quantity and flow of flight data. There’s also the added potential to grow capacity in the future.”

Wireless technology trial

A new wireless technology system has been in testing at Copenhagen Airport since 2008. It is designed around RFID (radio frequency identification) and Bluetooth (near field communications) on mobile phones.

The system provides information to passengers through their phones such as gate numbers, flight delays, weather report at destination, final calls and also allows the airport to track passengers around the airport (the phone identifies itself to the system as it moves through different zones).

The system was developed in collaboration with the IT University of Copenhagen and the Technical University of Denmark (Riso National Laboratory). Other partners include Blip Systems, Lyngsoe Systems and Copenhagen Airport itself.

The technology was tested on an actual flight in February 2008 using a team of volunteers with mobile handsets equipped with Bluetooth and RFID (if the passenger does not have a mobile an RFID tag alone can be used).

Pier B

The airport completed a refurbishment project in all of its pier B gate lounges in January 2008. All of the furniture and carpeting (1,839m² of new carpeting) was replaced and a new contemporary colour scheme was chosen to reflect Scandinavian design and architecture.

The carpet was purchased under the ‘Cool Carpet’ programme, meaning an extra purchase amount is levied to offset the greenhouse gas emissions resulting from the product’s life cycle, from manufacture to disposal. There were a total of 807 lounge seats replaced during the project and also a number of tables.

The designers for the new Orca brand furniture were Anne-Mette Bartholin Jensen and Morten Ernst, which was manufactured by Erik Jørgensen Møbelfabrik A/S. The furniture fabric was chosen to be wear resistant and easy clean.

Pier C refurbishment

In September 2007 the refurbishment and expansion of pier C started at the airport (first built in 2001). The DKr190m project included a new arrivals level, larger lounges for transit passengers and a redesign so aircraft stands can be made more efficient.

Pier C (with a capacity of around seven million passengers a year) redesign also separated flows of passengers to increase security. The first phase of the project involved the enlargement of the space of three lounges by 1,000m² and the refurbishment of two other lounges.

In early 2008 phase two started, which involved the addition of another floor to the building. The new storey was built at second-floor level; it is 150m long and has around 920m² of floor space. The new arrivals floor has been designed to open, airy and welcoming, with windows and large glass walls having views out over the runways of the airport.

The entrance to pier C has new passport control booths and also there are five new elevators and six new escalators.

The architect for the project was TNT Architects, the general contractor was Gronbech Construction and the engineers were Ramboll. The work was completed in 2008.

Automated baggage system

“In September 2007, the refurbishment and expansion of Copenhagen Airport’s pier C started.”

In May 2007, Copenhagen became the first airport to introduce a baggage handling system which can take bags from the check-in to the aircraft hold without any manual handling.

The system has been developed at Copenhagen by SAS Ground Services (SGS), Copenhagen Airports (CPH), FKI Logistex and CPH Design A/S (a functioning prototype was patented in 2007 by CPH and SGS).

The system was installed properly in late 2007 and was in operation by January 2008. There are 12 baggage lines connected to a scanning function, which forms part of the airports central infrastructure.

The system uses carts into which the bags are packed automatically according to their barcode. The carts are then transported to the aircraft and empty themselves into the hold.

The system actually knows the location of every bag in the aircraft hold so if a passenger doesn’t turn up at the gate their bags can be quickly found and removed.

In October 2011, Lyngsoe Systems was awarded a contract to automate the baggage system at the CPH with RFID system. It involved installation of 16 new check-in positions to receive the baggage with RFID tag and then pass it over to the carousel.

Once the baggage reaches the right chute among the eight chutes on the carousel, the RFID system visually alerts the operator indicating the right flight for the bag.