Lakselv Airport Facts
Lakselv Airport, Banak is an international airport located at Banak, 1.5 kilometers north of Lakselv, in the municipality of Porsanger, Finnmark county, Norway. Co-located with the military Station Group Banak, the airport is owned and operated by the state-owned Avinor. The airport is also branded as North Cape Airport, although the North Cape is 180 kilometers away.
The runway is 2,788 meters long and aligned nearly north–south. The airport is served by Widerøe with flights to Tromsø and Alta, and seasonally by Norwegian Air Shuttle to Oslo, in addition to international charter services. The airport had 71,763 passengers in 2012. In addition to serving Porsanger, the airport's catchment area includes Karasjok and Lebesby.
The airfield was constructed with triangular runways in 1938. It was taken over by the Luftwaffe in 1940, who expanded it and laid down two wooden runways. It was taken over by the NoRAF in 1945, but abandoned in 1952. It opened in 1963 and was largely funded by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Scandinavian Airlines operated out of the airport to the other primary airports in Finnmark and to Tromsø and Oslo.
The runway was extended in 1968. From 1990, flights were taken over by SAS Commuter and the direct flights to Oslo were halted. From the mid-1990s there have been occasional charter flights out of Banak. Widerøe took over SAS' services in 2002.