Expanding a Northern European gateway

Over Macquarie’s 12-year investment in Copenhagen Airport, DKK 10 billion was invested to enhance the airport’s connectivity and capacity.

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Sector Infrastructure
Sub-sector Transport
Location Denmark


At the time of Macquarie Asset Management’s initial investment in 2005, Copenhagen Airport was an established transport hub handling approximately 20 million passengers a year.1

Recognising the opportunity to further develop air services and connectivity, particularly in the low-fares and long-haul markets, Macquarie actively supported plans designed to prepare the airport for further growth.

Aiming to strengthen its position as the largest airport in Northern Europe2, Macquarie and its co-shareholders embarked on a major investment programme designed to upgrade and expand Copenhagen Airport’s operational and commercial infrastructure.


During the 12 years Macquarie was invested in Copenhagen Airport, more than DKK 10 billion of investment was committed to cement the airport’s reputation as the gateway to Scandinavia and the Nordic region.

Terminal facilities were reconfigured and expanded, with the opening of an enlarged airside retail area, the construction of a new central security facility, and the installation of an upgraded baggage handling system.

Seeing the opportunity to attract inter-European low-cost carriers, Macquarie was instrumental in delivering Copenhagen Airport’s newly constructed low-cost pier facility in 2010, branded CPH Go. These works were soon followed by investment in check-in and capacity enhancements to facilitate long-haul aircraft. This included the expansion of Pier C – adding new gates, lounges and passenger bridges – as well as the widening of the airport’s 3.3-kilometre runway to accommodate the world’s largest passenger aircraft, the Airbus A380.

Recognising that it had a responsibility to reduce its environmental footprint, in 2012 the airport set itself the goal of cutting energy consumption by 20 per cent by the end of the decade.3 Through a range of efficiency measures and a DKK 20 million investment in heat pump technology, the airport achieved this ambitious target three years earlier than planned. The airport also installed its first commercial electric vehicle charging points in 2017, helping airport users to reduce their emissions.


The investment undertaken during Macquarie’s period of ownership, combined with its focus on airline marketing and development, enabled Copenhagen Airport to grow passenger numbers by 45 per cent.4

This growth was further matched by investment in the airport’s workforce, with a 41 per cent increase in staff numbers over the same period.5 With 29 million passengers using Copenhagen Airport in the year of Macquarie’s divestment,3 the airport was the largest in the Nordics with each of its major routes contributing more than DKK 700 million to Denmark’s GDP each year.

The airport’s focus on route development saw the city of Copenhagen connected to 174 destinations at the time of Macquarie’s divestment5. With the largest international route network in the Nordics and a growing number of low-cost carriers commencing operations at the airport, Danish travellers were given greater value for money and were able to choose from a greater number of destinations.

Investment designed to improve the amenity and efficiency of Copenhagen Airport saw it recognised by passengers and airlines as the best airport in Northern Europe.The airport was also recognised as Europe’s most efficient airport 12 times in 14 years.7

12-year investment in Copenhagen Airport

DKK 10 billion of investment delivered

Recognised as Europe’s most efficient airport 12 times in 14 years

  1. Group Annual Report 2005, Copenhagen Airports A/S
  2. Based on annual passenger numbers, Group Annual Report 2017, Copenhagen Airports A/S
  3. Group Annual Report 2017, Copenhagen Airports A/S
  4. Based on annual passenger numbers of 20 million in 2005 and 29 million in 2017, Group Annual Report 2005 / 2017, Copenhagen Airports A/S
  5. Based on number of full-time equivalent Copenhagen Airport employees of 1,652 in 2005 and 2,573 in 2017, Group Annual Report 2005 / 2017, Copenhagen Airports A/S
  6. Best Airports in Northern Europe 2017, World Airport Awards 2017, Skytrax
  7. Air Transport Research Society