Oslo Airport to begin using driverless snow ploughs

Avinor, the state-owned company which operates most airports in Norway, is to begin using driverless snow clearing machines.

Oslo Airport to begin using driverless snow ploughs
Photo by George Kroeker on Unsplash

The plows will be supplied by manufacturer Øveraasen as part of an eight year 400 million kroner agreement signed with Avinor.

“This means a lot to us. The corona pandemic has almost led to a collapse in international air traffic. 80 percent of our customers are airport related and they have stepped on the emergency brake,” Øveraasen CEO Thor Avre Øveraasen told newspaper Dagens Nærlingsliv.

Tech company Yeti Move, based in Tonsberg, has been sub-contracted to handle the technical solutions.

“We want to be in the driver’s seat when it comes to new thinking and innovation. We are among the first in the world to put such a concept into operation and will thus be able to maintain the goal of being a leader in winter operations,” said Abraham Foss, CEO of Avinor.  

READ MORE: The essential phone apps you need to travel around Norway 

“Through an automated winter operation concept, we will solve our tasks with less resources. Streamlining and automation are high on the agenda. Ten years ago, the idea of driverless bulldozers was a sketch on paper, it is therefore very gratifying to see that the technology is now so mature that it can be put into normal operation,” he said.

The company will deliver an initial 12 snow clearing machines to Avinor.

Avinor has been trialling self-driving technology since 2018. The technology was originally tested at Fagernes Airport in Oppland.

The driverless equipment was later trialled at Oslo Gardermoen, although with a driver in the cockpit for safety. 

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Rental prices in Norway’s biggest cities continue to rise

The cost of renting in Norway's four largest cities rose overall during the third quarter, with prices up six percent this year, figures from Real Estate Norway show. 

Rental prices in Norway's biggest cities continue to rise

A sharp increase in rent prices in Norway continued throughout the third quarter, figures from Real Estate Norway (Eiendom Norge) released on Tuesday show. 

“Real Estate Norway’s rental housing price statistics show a historically strong rise in rental housing prices in Norway in the third quarter,” Henning Lauridsen, CEO of Real Estate Norway, stated in a report on the latest figures. 

Growth was most robust in Stavanger and Oslo, according to Real Estate Norway. 

“The strong growth in rental prices we have seen in the wake of the pandemic continued in the third quarter, and it is particularly in the Stavanger region and in Oslo that the growth in rental prices is strong,” Lauridsen said. 

Stavanger and nearby Sandnes saw the largest price increases, with the cost of renting there increasing by 4.7 percent during the third quarter. During the same period, rents in Oslo increased by 2.5 percent, while a marginal 0.3 percent rise was recorded in Trondheim. 

While the cost of renting in Norway’s four largest cities overall increased by 2 percent, rental prices in Bergen declined. There, rents fell by 2.5 percent in the third quarter.

Lauridsen said that the increase in rental prices was likely to continue due to several factors. High inflation, interest rates, increased taxes on rental properties and a low supply of homes on the market all contributed to increasing rents. 

However, he did note that the supply of rental homes on the market had increased in Trondheim and Oslo since the summer. 

Lauridsen said that the least well-off financially were being hit hardest by rent rises. Previously, the Norwegian government has informed The Local that it will not introduce a temporary cap on rent increases. 

READ MORE: Norway’s government rules out a temporary rent cap