Funding for the maintenance, operation and development of Iceland’s domestic airports will be ISK 200 million (EUR 1.72/USD 1.87 million) lower this year than in 2016.
The news came in the form of an answer from Minister for Transport and Municipalities Jón Gunnarsson to a question put forth my Left Green MP Ari Trausti Guðmundsson.
The Government’s plan had been to provide short-term funding of ISK 400 million to the airports, but instead that figure was set at ISK 200 million, RÚV reports. The money will therefore only be sufficient for the operational side of the service agreement between the State and Isavia on the operation of domestic airports. The funding will be used for the daily operation of the airports, as in previous years, and will avoid the need for any redundancies.
The minister’s answer to the parliamentary question stated that Isavia had thought necessary to have ISK 800 million for projects it regards as important, and ISK 320 for projects it says are essential.
The minister added that a working group of people from two government ministries and Isavia has now been set up to discuss domestic airport issues—including how to make them more efficient and cheaper to run. Two ideas include subsidizing domestic flight routes (presumably to boost passenger numbers and therefore takings) and to transfer control of some of the smallest airports from Isavia to the national roads administration.