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Ärna Airport, Uppsala, Sweden


Ärna Airport in Uppsala was inaugurated as a military airport in 1943 but has since 2004 been used solely for military exercises. In 2008, the company Uppsala Airport AB (formerly Uppsala Air AB), sent in an environmental permission application for civil flights to the county administrative board (Länsstyrelsen); hoping to expand the military airport to become a civil airport with focus on budget- and charter flights.

Four (Vänsterpartiet, Socialdemokraterna, Centerpartiet, Miljöpartiet) of seven parties in the municipality board of Uppsala voted against the project (but the proponents were in majority). EJOs Klimataktion and Klimax as well as locals are protesting against the project. Throughout the political process, many parties have been leaving their opinion on the matter. Concerns and critique have been brought up by for example Uppsala Vatten och Avfall (a municipal company taking care of the water and waste of the municipality) about the pollution of both surface- and ground water coming from the airport – a problem that is existing already due to the military activities on the airport. A concern is also the massive emissions of greenhouse gases that the airport activities would cause, which goes against the climate- and emission goals of Uppsala municipality.

In the end it is up to the government to make a decision whether or not to permit Uppsala Airport AB to open for civil flights, a decision that has not yet been taken.

Basic Data

Name of conflict:Ärna Airport, Uppsala, Sweden
State or province:Uppland
Location of conflict:Uppsala
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)

Source of Conflict

Type of conflict. 1st level:Infrastructure and Built Environment
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Ports and airport projects
Specific commodities:Land
Tourism services

Project Details and Actors

Project details

The company has applied for a maximum of 23,400 flight movements (a flight movement is defined as a start and a landing) per year where a maximum of 15,000 flight movements can be heavy airplanes (meaning a total weight of above 7 tonnes).

Type of populationUrban
Start of the conflict:2009
Company names or state enterprises:Uppsala Airport AB from Sweden
Faros Partners
Relevant government actors:The County Administrative Board , Uppsala Municipality, The Land and Environment Court , Ministry of Environment , Ministry of Industry , The Armed Forces of Sweden
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Klimataktion,, Klimax,, Nätverket för ett civilflygsfritt Ärna, Naturskyddsföreningen i Uppsala,

Conflict & Mobilization

IntensityLOW (some local organising)
Reaction stagePREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups mobilizing:Local ejos
Local government/political parties
National EJOs
Forms of mobilization:Creation of alternative reports/knowledge
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Media based activism/alternative media
Objections to the EIA
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns


Environmental ImpactsVisible: Noise pollution, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion
Potential: Air pollution, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Global warming, Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Soil contamination, Oil spills


Project StatusProposed (exploration phase)
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Not Sure
Briefly explain:No decision has been taken yet by the government. It is thus too early to say whether it is an Environmental Justice success or not.

Sources & Materials

Juridical relevant texts related to the conflict (laws, legislations, EIAs, etc)

Miljöbalken (1998:808),

References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

Centrum för Genusvetenskap

Uppsala Universitet

Jenny Jakobsson, 2010,

En feministisk, intersektionell objektivitetsanalys av Uppsalas kommunpolitikers uttalanden i klimatfrågan om Ärna flygplats, Bachelor thesis,

Klimatdebatten behöver feministiska förklaringar –

Uppsala Kommun säger nej till civilflyg på Ärna, Uppsala Nya tidning,

Regeringen måste säga nej, Uppsala Nya Tidning,

Vi borde kunna enas om Ärna, Uppsala Nya Tidning,

FP säger ja till civilflyg på Ärna, Uppsala Nya Tidning,

Nej till civilflyg på Ärna, Uppsala Nya Tidning,

Uppsala Vatten står orubbad i Ärnafrågan, Uppsala Fria,

Gift i vattnet kan komma från Ärna, Uppsala Nya Tidning,

Namninsamling mot civilflyg på Ärna, Uppsala Fria,

Fritt fram för lågprisflyg på Ärna i Uppsala, Dagens Nyheter,

Akademiska slutar använda egna brunnar, Uppsala Nya Tidning,

Nätverk lobbar för att Ärnafallet granskas, Uppsala Fria,

Försvaret kräver fortsatt utredning av miljögifter, Uppsalatidningen,

Ärna Flygplats, Länsstyrelsen Uppsala Län,

Meta information

Contributor:Linda Dubec
Last update18/08/2019



Source: Frida Hedberg

Free for low-cost airline at Ärna in Uppsala


Uppsala municipality says no to civil flight at Ärna