The Ministry of Local Government and Modernization has today adopted a state zoning plan for Evenes Airport and Harstad / Narvik Airport. The purpose of the plan is to facilitate the Armed Forces' increased activity at Evenes.
“I am pleased that we are now on target with a plan that secures the Armed Forces' needs at Evenes in a good way, and which also takes into account the environment and other societal interests related to the area,” says Minister of Local Government and Modernization Nikolai Astrup.
Evenes Airport will serve as a base for F-35 fighter jets and the new P-8A maritime surveillance aircraft. The base will play a key role in Norway's air defense and for asserting sovereignty in the High North. When the base is fully developed, it will house about 800 staff and conscripts.
“This is a milestone for the establishment of Evenes airport and the defense of Norway. F 35 can find, follow and identify other aircraft from far greater distances than the aircraft we have today. The new surveillance aircraft are faster and reach beyond the current aging fleet and strengthen the capability of maritime surveillance, intelligence and anti-submarine operations,” says Minister of Defense Frank Bakke-Jensen. “It has been important to me that we at the same time take into account the important natural values around Evenes.”
The plan also covers civilian area at Harstad / Narvik airport. This is an area that both Avinor and private players want to develop further. Evenes municipality also has interests related to the development of the area, and to the effects for the local community of the increased activity at the airport.
At the same time, the airport and the airport are surrounded by important nature areas, which are vulnerable to increased activity. It has therefore been a complicated planning work, but it is important to find solutions that take into account these interests and values.