Mon Aug 12, 2013 10:16 am
You could say that there are three kinds of airfields in Sweden:
- National airports, owned and operated by Swedavia (the national, government-owned airport company)
- Regional airports, owned and operated by private companies or the local council
- Airfields, owned and operated by clubs or by small local companies
In terms of number, the latter is by far the most common. They typcially do not charge any landing fees and many also sell fuel. Few are equipped to accept credit cards, though. At national and regional aiports, credit cards are usually accepted, but some only accept carnets.
I would not go so far as to say that national and regional airports in Sweden are unfriendly to GA, but landing fees range from 20 to 50 pounds (approximately). Stockolm/Arlanda is really the only place where you are not welcome: you need to get a slot time, etc. The landing card system that Paul mentions is not as universal as it was five-six years ago: then most national and regional aiports were part of the scheme, now only a few. Växjö left the system in 2007, if memory serves me right. At our club, we have stopped renewing the landing cards now since it no longer gives value for money.
Many clubs, including my own, operate from regional/national airports, and sometimes the local flying club has an agreement with the airport for reduced (or even eliminated) landing fees for visitors to the club. I think Växjö has such an agreement, but one always need to get this information from the club. This topic is one of the most often discussed around the coffee table nowadays: how much does it cost to land at ESxx? Are there any discounts or club agreements?
At "my" airfield, ESGP, the local clubs and the commercial flying school have a reduced landing fee: 7.50 pounds instead of 30. But sadly that does not extend to visitors, so we get very few of those nowadays. Until december 2011, ESGP took part in the landing card system, but management saw an untapped source of revenue.
The general impression one gets from the national and regional airport is that they see themselves as businesses in their own right, and not as part of a national infrastructure. This even if most regional airports require subsidies from local or central government. (EU wanted that to stop, but Sweden now has the right to continue to give subsidies.) And as "businessmen", some prefer to effectively get rid of GA. Who pays 50 pounds to land at Ängelholm when you can land at Höganäs (mentioned above) for nothing?
For those who prefer paper charts, I can recommend the ones from Jeppesen: EKES-1 and EKES-2 cover the southern part of the country. Further north, you need the ICAO charts. PM me if you need to find a place to buy such charts.
Edit to add that there is a fourth category: military airfields. Most of those are off limits, but not all. The ones that are not off limits do require PPR. Eksjö, mentioned above, is one of those. It's "military" in the sense that the airfield is smack in the middle of a military exercise field, where I spent ten months as a youth back in the eighties.
Of course I don't look busy! I got it right the first time.