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Oslo's International Airport may close due to illness

Gardermoen Airport may have to close during part of the Christmas holiday because the high number of people who are on sick leave in the fire and rescue service.

Management in Avinor, responsible for the ATC services at the airport, decided in the beginning of December to cut its staff with 25 percent, and as a result 50 man hours have been cut from Gardermoen.

A number of people in the fire and rescue service have called in sick lately, and several employees have stated that they refuse to work overtime, according to Avisenes nyhetsbyrå (ANB).

At the afternoon shift Tuesday, only six people reported, and there is normally a crew of 14.

“We are at the bare minimum now,” said Geir Larsen, representative at Oslo Lufthavn Gardermoen to ANB. “After some rearranging, they have managed to get 9 men on the shift. After what I have gathered from management is that we can not compensate security, so my impression is that if they receive fire call and have to answer the call, the airport will be closed until the particular situation is resolved.”

Ola Framstad, officer in charge on the Tuesday afternoon shift, confirmed that the tower will close the runways if there is an alarm and they are short of staff.

Jo Kobro, head of information at the airport, stated the runways would not be closed due to the number of people on sick leave in the fire and rescue service.

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