Icelandic Coast Guard

Operator Profile

History

Narrative Summary

The Icelandic Coast Guard was established in 1926, to patrol the seas around Iceland. In 1947 the Coast Guard started leasing aircraft from local airlines to patrol the fishing grounds just off the coast.

The ICG obtained it’s first aircraft, a PBY-6A Catalina amphibian in late 1955 and at the same time established a Division of Air Operations. This allowed search and rescue operations and shipping patrol missions to be carried out with much greater efficiency. The Catalina was replaced by a C-54 Skymaster in 1962. The ICG’s first helicopter, a Bell 47J, was delivered in 1965 and used to build up experience of helicopter operations. A Hughes 369 helicopter was obtained in 1975 for liason and transport duties. In the meantime, a Fokker F.27 had replaced the C-54 Skymaster.

During 1975, the imposition of a territorial limit 200 miles from the Icelandic coast led to confrontation with British fishing boats. The British fishermen had traditionally fished Icelandic waters for cod, and resisted Icelandic efforts to police what had previously been international waters. ICG Cutters were involved in several near collisions with British Trawlers in the disputed zone.

Since the 1970s, the ICG has obtained more modern helicopters, such as the Eurocopter Ecureuil, Dauphin 2 and Super Puma and upgraded the equipment on its Fokker F.27.

Key Dates

1 July 1926    Landhelgisgaezlan established
1947    ICG starts leasing aircraft for fishery patrol
10 December 1955    First aircraft obtained (PBY-6A Catalina)
29 December 1955    Division of Air Operations created
1965    First helicopter obtained (Bell 47J)

Current Status

The Icelandic Coast Guard is a law enforcement and rescue organisation. It is primarily tasked with policing Icelandic territorial waters and assisting those in trouble at sea. All aircraft are unarmed.

Ninety per cent of the missions flown by ICG aircraft are related to fishery protection, with the remainder devoted to a variety of tasks. These include search and rescue, mine clearance, emergency ambulance service, maintenance support to lighthouses and other navigation aids and transportaton for various goverment agencies.

Future Plans

The Fokker F.27 needs to be replaced in the near future.

[Super Puma]
The Super Puma TF-LIF on exercise over the choppy sea, March 6, 1998.
(Photo, Baldur Sveinsson)



Markings

National Insignia

CurrentHistorical

Aircraft Serial Numbers

All ICG aircraft carry civil registrations.

Unit/Base Codes

Coding system not used

Aircraft

Aircraft Designations

None – Manufacturers designations used.

Current Aircraft Inventory

Table of Current Service Aircraft

All-Time Aircraft Used List

All-Time Table of Aircraft Used

Aircraft NOT Used

No false reports of aircraft on order or in service have been noted.

[The ICG Fleet]
The ICG fleet, as it was on 13 October 1980. (Photo, Baldur Sveinsson)



Organisation

Main Headquarters

Postholf 7120 – 127 Reykjavik, Island.

Organisational Structure

All aircraft and helicopters are based at Reykjavik. There are no organisational sub-divisions. Coast Guard Cutters have helicopter facilities.

Current Unit Assignments

Not applicable.

Historical Unit Assignments

Not applicable.

All-Time Flying Units List

Not applicable

Air Bases

Current Air Bases

All aircraft and helicopters are currently based at Reykjavik International Airport.

All-Time Air Bases Used List

A number of regional airports and airfields are located around the country, many of which have been used by the ICG.
Air Bases and Airfields Listing

More Information

Books

Icelandic Aviation Bibliography – to be added

Magazines

Air Pictorial September 1985 p.348-350
Militair 1982 (Aviation Press) p.99
Aircraft Illustrated January 1981 p.8
World Air Forces Data Book 1 – Europe p.57
World Air Power Journal No.11 p.6

Websites

Icelandic Coast Guard
(Some photos of ships and aircraft)

Aircraft of the Icelandic Coast Guard
(Excellent photos of ICG aircraft and helicopters by Baldur Sveinsson)

Night Vision Goggles
(Introduction of NVGs with the ICG)

SAR Helicopters
(Includes operational use of ICG helicopters)

Icelandic Coast Guard
(Narrative history of ICG aviation with photos)

The author would like to acknowledge the assistance of Pall Halldorssan,
Chief Pilot of the Icelandic Coast Guard, in the production of this feature.

Current Aircraft Inventory
Icelandic Coast Guard

[Fokker F27]
Fokker F.27 TF-SYN makes a low airshow pass.
(Photo, Baldur Sveinsson)


Click on aircraft type for more details

Aircraft Type Total Del’d Total Active Still on Order Role
Eurocopter AS.332L1 Super Puma 1 1 0 SAR/Transport/EMS
Eurocopter SA.356N Dauphin 2 2 2 0 SAR/Coastal Patrol/EMS
Fokker F.27-200 1 1 0 Fishery Patrol

Air Bases and Airfields


This page gives details of some of the makor air bases and airfields on Iceland which are, or have been, used by the Icelandic Coast Guard and other countries. Several other smaller airfields are also available for use. The ICG also operates from three ships – see below. Contrary to reports in other publications, there is no airport at Seydisfjordur – which is located at the bottom of a very narrow fjord.

Akureyri (ICAO code: BIAR)
Civil airport located at the southern tip of Eyja fjord in northern Iceland.
Runway data: Rwy 01/19 Size: 6365 x 148 ft (1940 x 45 m) Location: N65 39 35.98 W018 04 21.73, Elev: 6 ft (2 m).

Bildudalur (ICAO code: BIBD)
Bildudalur is a port on Arnarfjord in north west Iceland. It has a civil airport.
Runway data: Rwy 05/23 Size: 3084 x 98 ft (940 x 30 m) Location: N65 38 28.79 W023 32 46.21, Elev: 26 ft (8 m).

Egilsstadir (ICAO code: BIEG)
Regional civil airport located in the central portion of Eastern Iceland. It is the backup airport for Keflavik, and is located 15 km inland from Seydisfjordur. Egilsstadir’s runway is long enough for Boeing 747/C-5 Galaxy sized aircraft.
Runway data: Rwy 04/22 Size: 6562 x 148 ft (2000 x 45 m) Location: N65 17 00.00 W014 24 05.00, Elev: 76 ft (23 m).

Hornafjordur (ICAO code: BIHN)
Regional civil airport local near the town of Hofn on the south east coast of Iceland.
Runway data: Rwy 18/36 Size: 4921 x 148 ft (1500 x 45 m) Location: N64 17 44.00 W015 13 38.00, Elev: 24 ft (7 m).

Husavik (ICAO code: BIHU)
Husavik is located on the north coast of Iceland, east of Siglufjordhur. Regional civil airport.
Runway data: Rwy 03/21 Size: 5266 x 157 ft (1605 x 48 m) Location: N65 57 08.38 W017 25 33.52, Elev: 48 ft (15 m).

Isafjordur (ICAO code: BIIS)
Isafjordur is located in the north west tip of Iceland, on one side of Isafjardhardjup fjord.
Runway data: Rwy 08/26 Size: 4593 x 148 ft (1400 x 45 m) Location: N66 03 29.00 W023 08 07.00, Elev: 8 ft (2 m).

Keflavik (ICAO code: BIKF)
Joint civil and military airbase. Iceland’s International Airport – also called Leif Erickson IAP. The largest airport in Iceland, with longer runways than Reykjavik. Used by the USAF and the US Navy since it was formally opened on 23 March 1943. Located 30 miles (50 km) west of Reykjavik on a peninsula in South West Iceland. It has two pairs of parallel runways. Official airport website, NAS Keflavik website.
Runway data: Rwy 02/20 Size: 10019 x 197 ft (3054 x 60 m), Rwy 11/29 Size: 10056 x 197 ft (3065 x 60 m), Location: N63 59 06.00 W022 36 20.00, Elev: 171 ft (52 m).

Patreksfjordur (ICAO code: BIPA)
Patreksfjordur is located on the western coast of north west Iceland.
Runway data: Rwy 14/32 Size: 4593 x 148 ft (1400 x 45 m) Location: N65 33 21.00 W023 57 054.00, Elev: 11 ft (3 m).

Reykjavik (ICAO code: BIRK)
Iceland’s main domestic civil airport. Main base for all ICG aircraft and helicopters. Located in South West Iceland, just 2 km from the capital city. Reykjavik is not an international airport, as it’s runways are too short for aircraft the size of a Boeing 737 or larger. It was originally built by the British in 1940, and handed over to the Icelandic authorities at the end of WW2.
Runway data: Rwy 01/19 Size: 5141 x 148 ft (1567 x 45 m), Rwy 06/24 Size: 3150 x 98 ft (960 x 30 m), Rwy 13/31 Size: 4035 x 148 ft (1230 x 45 m), Location: N64 07 48.00 W021 56 26.00, Elev: 48 ft (15 m).

Siglufjordur (ICAO code: BISI)
Siglufjordur is located in the central portion of the northern coast.
Runway data: Rwy 07/25 Size: 3556 x 105 ft (1084 x 32 m) Location: N66 08 00.00 W018 55 00.00, Elev: 10 ft (3 m).

Vestmannaeyjar (ICAO code: BIVM)
Vestmannaeyjar is an island off the south west coast of Iceland, due south of Hella.
Runway data: Rwy 04/22 Size: 3806 x 148 ft (1160 x 45 m), Rwy 13/21 Size: 3953 x 148 ft (1205 x 45 m), Location: N63 25 27.49 W020 16 43.95, Elev: 326 ft (99 m).

Ships

The ICG has three cutters, each equipped with a hangar and facilities for one (small) helicopter. The Hughes 500 and Ecureuil have been regularly flown from these vessels.

Name Service
Tyr 1975 – present
Aegir 1968 – present
Odinn 1968 – present
Thor 1951 – 1982

The flag ship is Tyr, her sistership is Aegir and the oldest ship is Odinn. The ICG has previously operated another ship, called Thor, which is now used as a sailor safety school by ‘Slysavarnafelag Islands’, the Icelandic Sea Rescue. They are all named after Nordic gods: Tyr is god of the sea, Aegir is god of fear, Odin is the god of gods and Thor is the god of thunder.

Thanks to Olafur Sigurdsson for additional information.

National Markings
Icelandic Coast Guard

This section describes and illustrates the various national insignia used by the Icelandic Coast Guard since its formation:




Main MarkingFin Flash

1955-1984?
ICG aircraft and helicopters were initially painted white overall with areas of red on the nose, tail and wings. Helicopters, such as the S-76, had a red nose and a red horizontal stripe along the rear fuselage. The national flag was carried in pennant form on the fin, or on the centre fuselage of helicopters. The civil registration was displayed in red.



  
Main MarkingFin Flash

1984?-present
With the arrival of the Dauphin 2 helicopter, a more sophisticated and very smart red-white-blue colour was introduced. The main identification marking became a forward sloping blue/white/red band around the fuselage, with the national flag in pennant form as a fin flash. The service title LANDHELGISGAESLAN is normally carried in red or black on the forward fuselage. The Fokker F.27 currently flies in a white and grey colour scheme with the main fuselage band, fin pennant marking and service titles.

Eurocopter AS.332L1 Super Puma

in Icelandic Coast Guard Service

Key Facts

Total Delivered: 1
Service Entry: 1995
Retirement: In Service

History

One AS.332L1 delivered 23 June 1995. Used for search and rescue and transport/EMS duties.

Individual Details

Serial c/no. Prev. Identity Delivered Fate/Notes
TF-LIF 2210 F-WQDA 23 June 1995 CAA No.733

Pictures

[Super Puma]
The Super Puma TF-LIF arriving at Reykjavik Airport, on it’s delivery flight.
(Photo, Baldur Sveinsson)

More Information

References

Other Sources

To be added.

Bell 47

in Icelandic Coast Guard Service

Key Facts

Total Delivered: 1
Service Entry: 1965
Retirement: 1984

History

One Bell 47J-2A obtained in 1965. It crashed on 9 October 1971, but was presumably repaired. Two OH-13S (Bell 47G) obtained in 1973. First example withdrawn 1984 and became G-BJFI, second example withdrawn 8 December 1980 and became G-WYTE. All used for liaison/light transport.

Individual Details

Serial c/no. Prev. Identity Delivered Fate/Notes
TF-EIR 3305   1965 Bell 47J-2A, CAA No.144, to N333TD in 1977
TF-HUG 3173 63-13763 1973 OH-13S/Bell 47G-2A, CAA No.226. damaged landing aboard CG cutter Aegir, wfu 1984. To G-BJFI.
TF-MUN 3294 64-15426 1973 OH-13S/Bell 47G-2A, CAA No.236. wfu 8 Dec 1980. To G-WYTE.

Pictures

[Bell 47J]
TF-EIR (Photo, Olafur Sigurdsson Collection)

[Bell 47G]
TF-HUG (Photo, Eggert Norðdahl)

More Information

References

Other Sources

To be added.

Consolidated PBY-6A Catalina

in Icelandic Coast Guard Service

Key Facts

Total Delivered: 1
Service Entry: 1955
Retirement: 1963

History

One PBY-6A (ex BuAer 46651) obtained in 1955 and registered TF-RAN (ex TF-FSD). The first aircraft operated by the ICG. The Icelandic Aviation Ministry originally bought it damaged from the US Navy on 17 September 1954, and registered it as TF-FSD. It was repaired by SAS in Copenhagen, and then given to the ICG on 10 December 1955, with the registration TF-RAN. It was used until 12 January 1963, and then parked until 1967, when it was tipped over by the wind, and later scrapped. The airframe was buried during the construction of Reykjavik airport in 1967. Used for maritime patrol and SAR.

Individual Details

Serial c/no. Prev. Identity Delivered Fate/Notes
TF-RAN 2015 TF-FSD 10 Dec 1955 CAA No.83, wfu 12 Jan 1963.

Pictures

[Catalina]
(Photo, Olafur Sigurdsson Collection)

More Information

References

Other Sources

To be added.


Douglas C-54A Skymaster

in Icelandic Coast Guard Service

Key Facts

Total Delivered: 1
Service Entry: 1962
Retirement: 1971

History

One C-54A (c/n 10386) delivered 30 July 1962 and registered TF-SIF (ex CS-TDJ/42-72281). Used for maritime patrol. Withdrawn in October 1971 and sold via Douglas to some dubious operator in Africa, where it’s ICG colour scheme caused some heartache back home. By 1973 it had met with an accident in Hong Kong and was abandoned.

Individual Details

Serial c/no. Prev. Identity Delivered Fate/Notes
TF-SIF 10386 CS-TDJ 30 July 1962 CAA No.115, wfu Oct 1971.

Pictures

[Skymaster]
(Photo, Olafur Sigurdsson Collection)

More Information

References

Other Sources

To be added.

Eurocopter AS.350B Ecureuil

in Icelandic Coast Guard Service

Key Facts

Total Delivered: 2
Service Entry: 1986
Retirement: 2000

History

One AS.350B obtained in March 1986. Used for support to Cutters and light ships, and EMS/light transport duties. Sold in Germany by 2000.

Individual Details

Serial c/no. Prev. Identity Delivered Fate/Notes
TF-GRO 1322 D-HKHL Mar 1986 CAA No.506, re-registered TF-SYR 1999
TF-SYR 1322 TF-GRO CAA No.506, to D-HFEM 2000?

Pictures

[AS.350]
(Photo, Olafur Sigurdsson Collection)

More Information

References

Other Sources

To be added.