Copenhagen – Aarhus seaplane kept aloft by temporary permit

A temporary permit has been issued enabling the Nordic Seaplanes service between harbours in Copenhagen and Aarhus to continue operations until March 2020.

Copenhagen – Aarhus seaplane kept aloft by temporary permit
File photo: Jens Nørgaard Larsen/Scanpix 2016

The company had faced closure after failing to secure the necessary permit from Copenhagen Municipality.

Industry media first reported that Nordic Seaplanes had secured the extension.

“This decision means that we can continue flying in 2019 at the same frequency as now. Jobs have been saved for the time being, and that is great,” the company’s CEO Lasse Rungholm wrote in a press statement.

“But, of course, we cannot justify a 30 million kroner investment in the extra aircraft we so desperately need to improve our service to our many passengers,” Rungholm added.

Nordic Seaplanes has operated on a three-year permit that was set to expire in March 2019. An application for a permanent license, submitted in 2017, was rejected.

The rejected application sought to significantly increase the extent of the service, with more frequent departures and a raised limit on noise levels.

According to authorities, the application lacked necessary information. Additionally, a complaint was lodged by the Langelinie Pavilion in Copenhagen.

Nordic Seaplanes appealed the decision to the Ministry of the Environment and Food's appeals board, but the company looked likely to close, with 20 jobs thereby lost. But reprieve was granted in the form of the extension, which enables operations to continue while the appeal is assessed.

“The appeals board has been required to move to Viborg [from Copenhagen, ed.]. 80 percent of their employees have resigned because they didn't want to move with them, so they are well behind schedule. The case is not currently progressing,” Rungsted told Jyllands-Posten in September.

“We don’t know for certain when a final decision will be granted, but we will have to live with that uncertainty,” he told Ritzau on Monday.

READ ALSO: Aarhus-Copenhagen seaplane threatened by authorisation issue


Denmark signals billion-kroner spending on new electric trains

Danish state-owned rail operator DSB is to purchase 100 electric trains at a cost of around 20 billion kroner, including maintenance costs.

Denmark signals billion-kroner spending on new electric trains
File photo: Martin Sylvest/Ritzau Scanpix

French company Alstom has won the contract to supply the trains to Denmark, DSB and transport minister Benny Engelbrecht said at a briefing on Monday.

The contract includes the option to purchase over the initial agreement for 100 trains. DSB said it expected to eventually receive 150 locomotives.

The electric trains are expected to begin operating on Denmark’s railways from 2024.

The deal comes as a result of a 2018 political which secured the replacement of the older IC4 trains, which have been the cause of a number of technical challenges during their time in service for DSB.

Ole Birk Olesen, the former transport minister who was in the post when the 2018 deal was agreed, said he does not expect such challenges with the new trains.

“Two things will make sure we avoid problems. The people who are supplying the trains are also responsible for maintenance,” Olesen said.

“That bill will not end up in the hands of Danish taxpayers. The other thing is that these are trains which already run in Europe and which have proved to be stable,” he added.

DSB has confirmed that two new maintenance centres will be built for servicing and repairing the new trains. The two workshops will be located in Copenhagen and Aarhus.

Engelbrecht noted at the briefing that the trains, which are of the type Coradia Stream, accelerate faster and have a higher top speed than the IC4 machines.

The top speed of the Coradia Stream is 200 kilometres per hour.

READ ALSO: Danish rail company reintroduces seat reservation rule