Conventional aeroplanes gradually replaced the flying boats in the late 1940s, increasing the need for public airports. Up until this time the planes had landed in fields or on simple gravel airstrips.

Reykjavík was the only place with a real airport. A British military unit had built it during World War II, and at the end of hostilities they presented the airport to the people of Iceland in a ceremony on 6 July 1946.

The British were further involved in the development of Icelandic airports when they introduced a special method of building runways very quickly. They laid special steel runway plates on the ground and fixed them together. Reasonable landing facilities were quickly created in this manner all over Iceland