The area where the Fiskenes palnt would be built. Source: Norconsult.

On-land fish farm site ‘too close to airport’

A planning application for a second on-land salmon farm on the Norwegian island of Andøya has encountered unexpected turbulence because of the site’s location near an airport.

Published Last updated

Andfjord Salmon is currently building a farm at Kvalnes in the east coast of Andøya that will eventually produce 19,000 gutted weight tonnes per year.

Its long-term plan is to build two more farms further up the coast coast, at Breivik and Fiskenes, taking production to an eventual annual total of 70,000 gwt.

Flight safety

But airline Widerøe fears the Fiskenes plant could be a hazard.

“Based on the information we have, it may look as if the facility’s location could affect both flight safety and regularity at the airport. This is due to light pollution and possible changes in the bird concentration,” Widerøe wrote to planners. It emphasised that it has not received any consultation document in the case.

Helge Anonsen, flight manager in Widerøe, told Fish Farming Expert’s sister site, LandbasedAQ, that the company has asked some questions about the facility's location in relation to possible aviation safety and regularity challenges.

“We have received feedback that the Civil Aviation Authority has taken the matter further with local authorities in Andøy Municipality and are awaiting the results of that dialogue before we decide whether to do more in the case,” he said.

Several of those who have sent consultation responses about the plan also have misgivings.

In a consultation statement Forsvarsbygg, which is responsible for military bases, wrote that the feedback from the Armed Forces shows that there will be major restrictions associated with the establishment of the fish farm at Fiskenes.

“Forsvarsbygg therefore recommends that no progress is made with the plan for the facility.”

Bird strike danger

State-owned airports operator Avinor is also opposed to the plan for an industrial park located at Fiskenes which is located in the middle of the inbound and outbound to Andøya airport.

Among other things, it pointed out the danger of a collision between a plane and a bird when locating aquaculture around an airport, as well as a number of other factors that can make it challenging for the airport.

Luftfartstilsynet (Civil Aviation Authority) wrote that it is strongly in doubt about the extent to which Andøy municipality has studied the consequences of the planned land-based fish farm. It emphasised that neither Widerøe nor another airline, Norwegian, has received any consultation documents in the case or gained access to the risk assessments that have been made.

No assessments

The Civil Aviation Authority added that it had received information that the case was scheduled to be processed in Andøy municipality in a meeting on 30 May, 2022.

It further wrote that it had no knowledge that sufficient professional assessments had been made of flight safety with regard to the risks that the establishment of a land-based fish farm at Andøy Industrial Park Fiskenes may entail for aviation at Andøy Airport.

“The Civil Aviation Authority will therefore strongly recommend Andøy municipality not to proceed with the plans to establish the facility as the case stands today,” the organisation stated.