Passenger numbers have almost doubled since Terminal 3 was inaugurated in 1998, but a new challenge may be around the corner.
Copenhagen Airport has achieved a historic landmark, passing 30 million passengers in a single year.
The Danish hub has now seen more than 800 million passengers pass through since it opened in 1925, when there was little more than a wooden house, a lawn and a few hundred sheep.
Around 233,000 people used the airport in 1946, rising to 1.8 million in 1960, which was the year Terminal 2 opened its doors, and to 16.8 million in 1998 when Terminal 3 was inaugurated. Since then the growth has really taken off, effectively doubling in the space of 20 years.
Four days before the end of this year, on December 27, Copenhagen Airport for the first time welcomed 30,000,000 passengers in a calendar year. It expects the upward trajectory to continue.
Two years ago, it was widely expected that CPH would break the 30 million barrier in 2017. Numbers had risen by 9.1% in 2016, from 26,610,632 to 29,043,287 passengers. But modest growth of just 0.5% last year meant it took a year longer to reach this milestone.
“It is a landmark for the airport, and for the many airlines here, that we are now rounding a sharp corner with 30 million travellers in one year. Since the financial crisis in 2008-09, there has been steady progress in the pace of travel,” says Peter Krogsgaard, commercial director at Copenhagen Airport.
Despite World War II, oil crises, the SARS epidemics, the Iraq War, terrorist attacks and the global financial crisis, passenger numbers have steadily increased.
But ahead lies a challenge that may prove to be greater than the bumps on the road that aviation has met so far. There is increasing focus – at least in Scandinavia – on the influence that aviation has on the climate.
“Continued improvement in air traffic is also a challenge for the climate,” Krogsgaard stressed. “We must act on that. As an airport, we must not only lift our share of the climate challenge but also work closely with the rest of the industry to develop sustainable solutions for the future of aviation.”