Svalbard airport, Longyear

Svalbard airport, Longyear, is the main civil airport on the island Svaldbard. The airport is situated about 5 kilometers north west of the city Longyearbyen. 

The first arrival to the airport was on the 14th of September 1974, but the airport didn't officially open until 2nd of September 1975. The terminal, as it is today, was opened on the 10th of December 2007. Longyear airport is the worlds most northern airport with scheduled passenger traffic. 

The airport is situated in Bodo Oceanic airspace and Longyear Traffic Information Area (TIA), and is uncontrolled, however two-way radio communication with the Aerodrome Flight Information Service (AFIS) is mandatory. The Aerodrome Flight Information Service Officer (AFISO) is responsible for determining the runway in use, providing traffic information to aircrafts within Longyear Traffic Information Zone (TIZ) as well as Longyear TIA, and relaying Air Traffic Control (ATC) clearance from Bodo Oceanic to the pilots departing in to Oceanic Airspace. Aircraft maneuvering within the TIA and TIZ is on own navigation by the Pilot In Command (PIC), but the intentions and actual flight routing must be stated to the AFIS unit and the Flight Information Service (FIS) unit.

Being that this is a rather special airport considering its location, surrounding terrain, airspace classification and flight procedures, a comprehensive airport briefing for pilots has been created, and can be found below. 

Charts & Flight procedures

Click here to download aeronautical charts for Longyear


The airport has a single runway (10/28), which is 2480x45 meters. Runway 10 is the main arrival runway. Departures on runway 28 will give a significantly reduced taxi time, therefore this runway is often used for departures even if runway 10 is used for arrivals, if the wind components are within the limits for the aircraft and the traffic situation permits.

Landing Distance Available (LDA) on runway 10 is 1988 meters, LDA on runway 28 is 2138 meters.
Take-Off Distance Available (TODA) on runway 10 is 2508 meters, TODA on runway 28 is 2560 meters.

The airport has three taxiways, A, B and C. Taxiway A and B is the main entry/exit points to/from the runway. Taxiway C is mainly used if departing aircrafts require de-icing prior to departure. There are no defined stands / parking positions on the apron, and maximum simultaneous capacity on the apron is 3 Boeing 737 aircrafts and one helicopter. 

The aerodrome is restricted to aircrafts which has a wingspan of less than 61 meter. If the Runway Visual Range (RVR) falls below 550m, no operations are allowed at the airport. Wind shear/eddies may occur on short final RWY 10 and 28 when wind 160° - 270° above 20 KT. Moderate and severe turbulence might occur below FL 100 in similar wind conditions.

Departure - IFR

Longyear airport has established Standard Instrument Departures (SID) and Omni-Directional Departures. These departures has an initial climb of 5500ft. Aircrafts unable to perform RNAV departures may only depart runway 10 if VMC via visual references as there is no non-RNAV established on this runway. From runway 28 non-RNAV certified aircrafts can depart visually (if VMC) or via the omni-directional departure procedure (if IMC).

Whenever Instrumental Meteorological Conditions (IMC) exist, it is mandatory to follow established departure routes due to proximity to terrain. Strict adherence to minimum climb gradients and speed restrictions must also be observed at all times. When above the Minimum Sector Altitude (MSA), set a direct course to your first enroute waypoint. If Visual Meteorological Conditions (VMC) exist, the PIC can decide to depart by visual references and set as much of a direct course to the first enroute waypoint as possible, whenever practical and safe to do so.

Aircraft which is planning to fly above F195 must submit their flight plan and obtain their Air Traffic Control clearance for flight in Oceanic airspace 20-30 minutes prior to Estimated Off Block Time (EOBT). If entering Bodo Oceanic airspace after departure, you will be instructed by FIS to contact Bodo Radio when passing F130. 

Be advised, vessels crossing the departure area may occur and will require a higher climb gradient. In such situations, these must be avoided visually or by other means.

Arrival - IFR

The airport has not established Standard Terminal Arrival Routes (STAR), and as such, arrival is by direct to the Initial Approach Fix (IAF) after the last enroute waypoint.

When arriving to Svalbard/Longyear TIA you will be transferred to the FIS by Bodo Radio when passing F200. When in contact with the FIS, state your altitude passing and descending to, routing and time estimate at significant point(s).

When arriving to the airport outside Bodo Oceanic airspace (below F195), establish contact with FIS no later than 5 minutes prior to entering the airspace, with your intentions, time estimate and routing.

After your last enroute waypoint proceed direct to one of the IAFs, use Longyear (LON) NDB or Advent (ADV) NDB if unable to fly the RNAV transitions, descending no lower altitude/flight level than the MSA (if IMC), and execute the approach in complete adherence with the procedures depicted on the charts. If IMC exist, strict adherence to the charts and these procedures are mandatory. If VMC exist, the PIC can decide to fly the arrival by visual references and make a visual approach when the airport is in sight. 

Use of localizer front course is limited to +/- 15 degrees of the centerline.


Traffic circuits are to be flown north of the aerodrome.

Two reporting points, "Alfa" (5nm from LON NDB on bearing 220°) and "Bravo" (6nm from LON NDB on bearing 040°) are established. PIC of aircraft flying VFR to/from the airport or through TIZ/TIA are requested to route their flights via "Alfa" or "Bravo" and report their position to the AFIS unit.


Please refer to our AFIS section for phraseology examples.

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