Will higher safety standards lead to fewer domestic flights in Iceland?

The head of the organisation which runs Iceland’s airports says that increased safety requirements will quite likely lead to two or three domestic flight destinations being cancelled and the number of flights to others decreasing.

The chairman of Isavia said at a conference today that it will be difficult to maintain current flight provisions linking rural areas to Reykjavík with current levels of financing.

He believes that the low level of finance provided for domestic aviation and the increasing safety regulations will lead to a decrease in landing slots and to two or three destinations being stopped altogether. One of the three available options is to keep flight services the same as they are today; but he believes that to be the least likely option.

One way of saving money to maintain services would be to move domestic flights from Reykjavík Airport to Keflavík International Airport, but public opinion is not widely in favour of such a move and it would likely see the number of passengers flying to the nearer domestic destinations crumble.

Isavia head Þórólfur Árnason says that one thing is clear, and that is that safety requirements for domestic aviation are massive and that Icelanders are “more Catholic than the Pope” when it comes to stringent safety requirements on private aviation.