Long Beach Airport, in California, is the smallest airport I’ve ever seen but it looks positively palatial compared to Kirkenes, Norway. KKN Airport, located just 9 miles outside the city, can be seen in its entirety from the front gates.
► Ranking: #cleandiaper
Kirkenes Airport, Høybuktmoen (KKN)
Phone: +47 67 03 53 00
Curfew: Monday – Friday 23:00-04:30, Saturday 15:00-06:30, Sunday 23:00-08:00
The airport houses just two rooms! Two! The first room is where you check-in, get your boarding pass, check your bags, and then go through security. You can watch the security procession while waiting in line to check your bags. Regardless of the airline you are flying, you check in at one counter with a maximum of four individuals working.
Then take two steps to your right, and you’re in line for security. Talk about efficiency.
The second room at KKN contains both three boarding gates and baggage claim, with a small convenience store, Narvesen (Norway’s equivalent to 7-11), opposite the first gate. Opposite the second gate is baggage claim. You can actually see baggage claim while you are waiting to depart for your flight. It is divided from the gate area by automatic glass doors and a giant bear standing atop the baggage belt.
Norway is the least concerned about security of any country we’ve ever traveled to. When we arrived in Norway from Frankfurt, Germany there was no customs or security. No one ever even checked our passports, which means no one in our family got a stamp in our passports! We suspect this may have been different had we flown in directly from a location outside Europe, but it was still disappointing. From Kirkenes you can only fly within destinations in Norway, so there is no customs or additional security to be concerned about.
The Kirkenes Airport, KKN, is a meer 16 km / 9 miles away from Russia, which has given it the title of ‘Gateway to Russia’. During our Northern Lights excursion, we were a meer one mile away from Russia! It was so hard not to reach out and touch it, even upon risk of imprisonment. This tiny airport offers a car rental service, and local bus service runs throughout the day to major destinations throughout the city. It also provides free wifi.
► For Kids: Tiny airports are a dream with kids. They easily can travel from point A to point B with no time to get lost or cause problems along the way. Like most European cities, KKN is very child friendly.
Have you traveled to the Northern Region of Norway and flown from KKN? What season did you travel in? Did you travel to Three Country Cairn? With only two hours of twilight we decided against it, which really bummed me out. At least half the trip would have been completed in complete darkness, the other half in twilight and we weren’t accustomed to traveling on roads that were never fully cleared of all snow and ice. It was fascinating to see how the snow takes over this country and the locals don’t even blink an eye. From the motorcade of snowblowers at OSL, to the slow plow blowing snow into a dumptruck at TOS, it was quite a sight!
► Nap-Time Version: The ins and outs of navigating the Kirkenes Airport, Høybuktmoen, KKN, in Norway with kids.
Our family landed in Kirkenes after taking the Hurtigruten from Tromsø, (coming soon) and I experienced the most thrilling ride of my life departing from this airport on SAS Airlines! Hint: I rode in the cockpit!