Political power struggle behind reports for shutdown of Bromma Airport

By: Thomas Ström 12/2/20

This is so tiresome. What is really going on?
Politicians, civil servants and a business commerce organization has now made a u-turn and concluded that it is a great idea to shut down Bromma Airport. It is utter madness.

A country like Sweden with a capital of Stockholm’s size needs two airports, of which one is a city airport. I am positive that air traffic – within a few years – will be one of the most sustainable means of transportation. When this is reality, we will deeply regret that we shut down Bromma in the same way we did with Säve Airport in Gothenburg a few years back.

The issue with Bromma is a high profiled battle between the Government parties, where the Environmental Party demands an early shutdown of the airport without increasing the capacity at Arlanda.

Last time Bromma Airport was threatened with shutdown was in 2014, which is when I started writing my views in the matter on this blog. I have not changed my opinion since then. Stockholm Chamber of Commerce, on the other hand, has completely turned around. 

From being one of the loudest enforcers to keep Bromma and even presented a report stating that 24 000 jobs are threatened if Bromma was shut down, the organization has now switched opinion.

In a newly published report from the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce it appears that a shutdown of the airport is the single right thing to do. How is this possible?

I can only interpret this as a play with politics and power, for example through the fact that the organizations current Head of Communication is previously the Press Secretary at the Center Party’s Parliament Office. But the primary reason is of course that the Chamber of Commerce is governed by large corporations and it is the large ones that want to close Bromma since they mostly fly international (Arlanda Airport). Among them are of course SAS, who does not fly at Bromma. Collectively, they want all their development funds to “their” airport Arlanda.

Almost at the same time as the Chamber of Commerce’s report it was also published a report by Swedavia with the same theme: “Bromma is not profitable long-term”. Apparently, it is made to order by the Government (Ministry of Trade and Industry). This is what Rebecca Weidmo Uvell states in her blog and I have no reason to doubt her. 

After having contact with both Swedavia and the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Rebecca Weidmo Uvell has been given access to a record (public document) from a meeting between the parties last summer where it clearly states that “the Government demanded that the Government owned and governed Swedavia should release a report which only focuses on shutting down Bromma on financial reasons”.

So that was what actually happened when the Government received exactly those headlines in media they had ordered in the meeting in late June. “The issue about the airports future has become significant since Swedavia recently announced that it is no longer commercially sustainable to run Bromma until 2038”.

Everything points to the direction that it was the Minister of Trade and Industry, Ibrahim Baylan, who ordered the report. Then that the same Minister – when the report is released to the media – seems surprised at the report’s conclusions is nothing short of distasteful.

Everyone knows that the Social Democrats and the Environmental Party want to shut down Bromma.

I am not surprised that none of the two reports addressed anything about:

  • The billions of SEK which has recently been invested in Bromma.
  • The more than 20 000 jobs which will disappear.
  • The costs of dismounting the airport.
  • How sustainable air traffic will be in the future when environmentally sustainable fuels have been developed.
  • All of the citizens in places across the country who will become isolated and dependent on trains to reach the airport.
  • That the battery powered aircrafts which are now being tested in Gothenburg have a reach on more than one hour, and thus are perfect for a city airport like Bromma.

I sincerely hope that this is not a done deal; Sweden needs Bromma! We and coming generations will deeply regret a possible shut down.

Thomas Ström