A few days ago the expanded terminal building at Oslo Gardermoen airport opened to the public. Officially named “Nye Oslo Lufthavn” (New Oslo Airport) the aim is to significantly increase the airport capacity and today I finally got to see the final result. A much needed expansion of the terminal building, which has basically looked the same since Gardermoen became the main international airport of Oslo in 1998.
The project includes many new constructions and the first thing you will notice upon arrival at the airport is a new departure hall next to the existing departure hall, with new check-in areas and a new security control, making the departure hall much more spacious and far less crowded. The new check-in area gives an excellent first impression with modern high-tech check-in islands and baggage drop counters. The new hall seems to be used mostly by Norwegian. And there is indeed a new adjacent security control, probably also mostly used by passengers traveling on Norwegian but I suppose anyone with a valid same-day boarding pass could use it.
Once airside there is a brand new concourse called “Concourse North”, stretching from the new central taxfree shop towards the north. All gates in this concourse can be used for both domestic and international Schengen flights. The gates for the international flights are located on the lower floor while the gates for the domestic flights are located on the upper floor. Although some areas of this concourse have not yet been fully completed it does give a very good impression. The concourse is wide to avoid congestion and the gate areas are spacious with plenty of seating. It also has a modern Nordic design with lots of wood used in the interior.
The gates in the concourse also have a new design with self-service speed gates for boarding and a desk which could be used for priority boarding.
There are also new departure boards in some kind of silver design.
Another highlight is the new central taxfree shop located in the international transit hall, straight after the security control where Concourse North and Concourse East meet. It is significantly larger than the old taxfree shop with a larger assortment. However what has not changed are the prices. Although Norway is not a member of the European Union, which means taxfree is available in connection with all international flights to and from Oslo, the prices are quite high in comparison to many other European airport, including airports where the prices are available to all travellers, also those travelling within the EU. There is no question the taxfree selection in the new shop is good and an improvement, but the prices are really only competitive for Norwegians when comparing them to with the high-street prices in Norway.
And for arriving passengers there is also a brand new exit for international passengers arriving at the new Concourse North. Also quite stylish with the green wall.
Overall the expansion is good news for travellers from Oslo Gardermoen. The new check-in hall makes the departure hall less crowded and the new Concourse North provides several more terminal gates, which means fewer passengers will have to take a bus to or from the aircraft. The design is nice as well. It is not identical to the existing terminal design but it complements it well, with a very Nordic minimalistic feel to it.