Actis criticizes duty free-airport improvements link in Norway

Increased income from tax free alcohol sales is helping airports in rural Norway improve their services. Alcohol and drug-related help organizations think the state should run and benefit from shop sales instead, The Foreigner reports.

State-run airports authority Avinor owns and operates 46 airports in and around Norway. Most of their money comes from air traffic fees. At the same time, commercial revenue – which includes income from hotels, parking, dining and retail operations – has been rising sharply.

Anne-Karin Kolstad from Actis, the Norwegian Policy Network on Alcohol and Drugs, does not think the alcohol-airport link idea is a good one, however. “State-run Avinor having to sell tax-free alcohol to be able to give Norway better air services isn’t right,” she said to the Foreigner.

Ms. Koldstad believes that it would better for the government run Vinmonopolet to take over alcohol sales at airports, while the State Treasury accrues the revenues.

Vinmonopolet has said they are considering taking over the duty free alcohol business at airports when Avinor’s agreement with majors Heinemann/Travel Retail Norway runs out in 2021.