Briefs from Svalbardposten for the week of Dec. 8, 2015


Store Norske cancels flight contract with Lufttransport
A contract for Lufttransport to provide daily flights between Longyearbyen and Svea is being terminated as of next June due to the shutdown of mining operations, Store Norske announced this week. The state-owned air company, which is losing its biggest customer in Svalbard, may be forced to double the price of flights between Longyearbyen and Ny-Ålesund due to an economy of scale loss. Store Norske Administrative Director Wenche Ravlo said a new operator for flights that will still be necessary to Svea after June 1 is being sought. Lufttransport Business Manager Hans Arne Jensen said the decision will not have an immediate effect on the company, but some Svalbard employees may need to be relocated elsewhere in the Arctic.

Fines for throwing trash in wrong bin may start Jan. 1
Throwing trash into the wrong sorting container may result in a 3,600-kroner fine starting Jan. 1 under a list of proposed billing rates and fees to be considered next Tuesday by the Longyearbyen Community Council. Businesses would face an additional fee of 10,836 kroner. “There have been some really serious cases where individuals have simply not given a damn about sorting,” said Rasmus Bøckman, a manager at city’s waste facility.

Editor resigning in March to accept new job in Finnmark
Svalbardposten Editor Eirik Palm is resigning in March to accept a newly created position as head of information and public relations for Finnmarkseiendommen, an entity that owns 95 percent of the land in Finnmark and is responsible for resource and other management in the territory. Palm, who became Svalbardposten’s editor on Oct. 1, 2013, cited increased print circulation, an honorable mention in this year’s competition for Norway’s best newspaper, and English-language content including weekly articles and the annual “Top of the World” tourist magazine as some of the most achievements during his term. The newspaper’s board hope to begin accepting applications for a successor before Christmas.