Greenland invests in infrastructure

New investments such as the airports are a game changer for Greenland

Greenland’s infrastructural landscape is reaching a historical point in time, and is poised to change the accessibility of the country forever. The biggest construction and logistical challenge consists of three new airports in Nuuk, Ilulissat and Qaqortoq. There are also harbour and road developments, including a dirt road between Sisimiut and Kangerlussuaq that will connect two towns for the first time ever in Greenland. 

The service industry is also preparing for an increase of visitors to our lands. There are new hotel developments, new visitor attractions, and tourism operators are developing and packaging new products. 

Simultaneously, Greenland’s tourism industry is aware that development of this scale must be tempered with new policies and guidelines that have sustainable growth at its core.  

The information below is a summary of the plans for the future and will be updated accordingly.  

Please note that from April 2021, Visit Greenland launches Travel Trade Forum, a knowledge sharing platform where smaller-scale developments and new operator products feature in the ‘Share Your News’ section.

Airport development project

The Greenlandic Government has an ambitious plan to build three new airports in Greenland by 2024:  Nuuk, Ilulissat and Qaqortoq. In order to do this, they are literally moving mountains and filling up part of the sea. 

Kalaallit Airports International A/S and Munck Gruppen A/S have entered an agreement to construct the first two airports in Nuuk and Ilulissat. A total of 12.5 million cubic metres of rock will be blasted in order to build these new runways.

Nuuk

(scheduled completion in 2023)

The construction of a new 2200 m trans-atlantic airport began in 2020 and is expected to be completed by the end of 2023. The airport at Nuuk will consist of a runway, two taxiways, a tower function in an independent building and a terminal area with an apron. 

View Point In Nuuk. Photo by Matthew Littlewood - Visit Greenland

Ilulissat

(scheduled completion in 2023)

A new 2200 m trans-atlantic airport for Ilulissat has also been commissioned by the Greenlandic government and the first ceremonial blasting of rocks was made in January 2020. Construction work began in the second quarter of 2020 and is expected to be complete by 2023. 

A passenger boat near Ilulissat and the ice fjord in Greenland. By Mads Pihl

Qaqortoq

(expected completion in 2024)

There are plans to build a new airport with a 1,500 metre runway in Qaqortoq in South Greenland. The runway is positioned so that it can be extended to 1,799 metres. In its present iterations, the airport can receive aircraft with 70 – 100 passengers that can fly to nearby destinations such as Iceland and Iqaluit. Qaqortoq airport is still being tendered so the contractor is not yet known. 

Sunset over Qaqortoq in South Greenland. Photo by Mads Pihl

Watch a presentation by Hans Christian Munck, who presents about Greenland’s airport project in a conference hosted by the Confederation of Danish Industry (DI).

Video of Munck Group (Dec 2020)

More information: Kalaallit Airports

Current Air Routes

Click here, for updates on openings check our COVID-19 FAQs page

There are currently two main air carriers in Greenland: Air Greenland and Icelandair (Until 18 April 2021, all flights between Iceland and Greenland stop.). 

Air Greenland 

Link to Air Greenland presentation

Air Greenland current international route Map (2021)

By regions

Ilulissat



Accommodation:

  • Best Western ‘Hotel Ilulissat’ (late 2021).
    Description: Best Western hotels plan to open the Best Western Plus in Ilulissat. This sustainable hotel will have 78 rooms, a restaurant and a large roof terrace, and is being built and operated by a group of local investors.
    Location: Kaaleeraq Poulsenip Aqq. 6

  • Hotel Hvide Falk (began November 2019)
    The planned completion has been delayed by COVID-19. This huge renovation project will extend over a period of a few years.

  • Oqaatsut’s H8 Explorer Restaurant
    Oqaatsut’s H8 Explorer restaurant is a small and cosy restaurant serving Greenlandic specialities in a settlement of only 30 inhabitants close to Ilulissat. Here they continue operation of running a kayak school, and have added SUP to their portfolio – making it the northernmost SUP school in the world.
Kayakers from PGI Greenland in front of Restaurant H8 in Oqaatsut in Greenland. Photo by Mads Pihl

Other developments

  • Ilulissat Icefjord Centre (opening summer 2021)
    The 108 million kroner project, funded by RealDania and designed by Dorte Mandrup Architects’, is planned for opening in 2021.

    Location: The centre is located outside Ilulissat on the half-way towards the Ilulissat Icefjord, right on the already-established wooden pathway to the ‘Sermermiut’ location by the coast. It’s resting on a small hill overlooking the icefjord.

  • Aurora Centre Ilulissat
    Aurora Centre Ilulissat is planned to be a centre for dissemination and experience of northern lights. At the same time, the centre’s instruments will also contribute to international research in Northern Lights. The centre will get a prominent location overlooking the UNESCO World Heritage Site Ilulissat Icefjord.DTU Space is behind the initiative. Status is that DTU has talked to several funds about realising the centre, but so far nothing concrete has been announced.

    Location: South of Ilulissat in the area by the old heliport is an ideal place for northern lights observation where the mountain forms a natural screen against light pollution from the town.


Uummannaq

Uummannaq harbour extensions

According to the UUM1500-B01 proposal, which has been approved, the harbour in Uummannaq will be expanded to the north and the south. To the north a quay extension will be used for bigger supply ships and to the south a new quay will be used for fueling ships. The north quay extension will likely also be used for smaller expedition cruise ships.

Contributors

Mads Lumholt & Tanny Por

Visit Greenland

For updates: If you would like to contribute to or update this page, please write to Tanny Por at tanny@visitgreenland.com