Today Sweden and the USA sign a deal so that passengers can pass through American border controls in Sweden. The preclearance deal makes it easier for people to travel and makes Sweden more attractive for businesses to place their head offices, according to the government.
The government’s investigator Anders Sundström, recently ousted as chair of Swedbank, presented his solution yesterday for the politically controversial struggle over Bromma Airport.
He wants to expand Arlanda with a fourth runway as he estimates the flights to and from the airport will have doubled by 2040. On the other hand Bromma, which has barely a third of domestic traffic, is not needed, he concludes. Instead Stockholm would be able to build 30,000 houses in its place.
He claims the Arlanda project must be complete by 2035, as it is of utmost importance for Stockholm to be able to compete with capital cities in neighbouring countries. Therefore Bromma Airport can remain until 2038, when its current contract expires.
Arlanda has been chosen as one of few airports where passengers could pass through US customs before their journey begins.
According to Mikael Damberg, minister for enterprise, Sweden is participating in negotiations and he hopes for an agreement later this year. “It would ease travel and make Arlanda an attractive airport for airlines that want simple routes between Europe and the USA. It also means a lot to those companies with their head offices close to Arlanda and it could attract new companies here.”
Among the airlines, Norwegian is very positive although its enthusiasm is not shared by SAS, where there is concern the pre-clearance could benefit Norwegian and create problems for SAS. For example, extra time would be needed for passing through customs, which could worsen connections for those flying into Arlanda from other parts of the country.
Hoping to attract more airlines to the region, airport operator Swedavia is to invest more than half a billion kronor in new office premises at Stockholm’s Arlanda Airport. A total of 15,600 square metres of office space will be available from 2017-2018.
Some SKr 123 billion will be invested in Arlanda in the coming years. Approximately 22,000 people already work in and around Arlanda and the airport creates more than 1,000 jobs annually.
With Stockholm predicted to be one of the fastest-growing capitals in Europe, investment must be made to ensure that Arlanda grows as an airport, Swedavia CEO Torborg Chetkovich says.