THE ABANDONED AIRPORT IN ICELAND
‘Þórshafnarflugvöllur’ is a small airstrip in north-east Iceland, near the village of Sauðanes. The airport was eventually closed down and moved to a new site.
The small airport had the ICAO code BITH. The ‘Þórshafnarflugvöllur’ or ‘Thorshofn Airport’ had a gravel runway for flights to other parts of the country.
In July 1969, a Douglas R4D-6 41-50187 of the United States Air Force was damaged beyond economical repair in an accident at Þórshöfn Airport. Pilot Russell W. Sims Jr was flying in supplies and mail from Reykjavík. Suddenly cross winds appeared, this coupled with a bad runway surface was the reason the pilot could not keep control of the plane while landing. As a result, the plane drove off the runway surface, destroying its landing gear. The plane wreck is still present today and used by sheep as a shelter for bad weather. In 1996 its wings were removed.
At the present time, the local airport is found 5 km south-west in Þórshöfn. The new airport has a very small terminal building of around 12 by 9 meters. Domestic airports don’t need security checks in Iceland, and because the 19-seat Twin Otter aircraft used don’t need large terminals. I visited the old ‘Þórshafnarflugvöllur’ in 2013 during my Iceland road trip. Follow this link for more abandoned airports.