Following the end of the Second World War and Norway's subsequent membership in NATO, it became strategically important to build several new air stations in the country.
The first civilian aircraft to land was a Douglas DC-3 from Fred. Olsen Airtransport in 1958. The first scheduled flight was a Braathens SAFE Fokker F27 on 13 October, a route that flew daily from Oslo along the South Coast to Stavanger.
Nordic Air was established in 1970 and commenced cargo charter services out of Torp. They remained in service until 1973. Nor-Fly started operating from Sandefjord in 1974. The airline at first had a Douglas DC-3, and later four Convair 440. The company had been established in 1952, and started flights from Sandefjord to serve commuters and business travellers to Western Norway and the oil industry.
During the mid-1980s, local commercial interests stated that they wished for more activity at Torp.
New owners concluded that the airport needed a new control tower and a new terminal building. Construction was issued as a public tender in 1987, but the military decided to stop the plans. At this time, a debate about a new location for Oslo Airport had started.
The private placement in 1987 allowed sufficient financing of a new terminal building. It was a 3,000-square-meter (32,000 sq ft) pointed building that was planned to have the largest possible surface facing the tarmac—to allow the highest possible number of aircraft to park. It was constructed in such a way that it could be easily expanded in both directions. The new terminal was completed in 1991 and cost NOK 47 million. This also included a 29,700-kilometre (18,500 mi) tarmac, and expansion of the taxiway and parking for 300 cars.
The first charter flights from Torp were conducted in 1989. Saga started flights to Mallorca in 1992, as did Vingreiser. These are today part of MyTravel. Torp Café and Catering Service Partnerin 1998.Following the Oslo Airport localization controversy in the 1980s and early 1990s, Parliament decided to locate the new main airport for Eastern Norway at Gardermoen, north of Oslo. This caused Buskerud, Vestfold and Telemark to grow further from the main airport, strengthening the regional position of Torp.
By 1990, the airport was again losing money, with a loss of NOK 2.1 million, but the passenger numbers were up to 137,279.The debate about ownership woke again in 1992, this time with the Civil Aviation Administration considering if it should purchase part of or all of the airport. In 1992 the airport had 142,983 passengers, and the Civil Aviation Administration estimated that the airport would have 280,000 passengers following the closing of Fornebu in 1998. Local politicians did not want to sell the whole airport to the state, and the Civil Aviation Administration was not interested in purchasing part of the airport, so a sale did not go through.
The next plan was launched in 1996, and parliament decided that the state would finance the new tower. However, when construction was to commence in 1998, the ministry decided that the tower instead should be financed by the airport operator. The ministry stated that this was because they did not want to use the limited state funds, that were entirely generated from user fees, to invest in airports that the state had chosen to not operate. It also stated that investments should be concentrated on security rather than increased capacity, and that the airport operating company had sufficient capital to finance the investments. Construction started in 1999 and was finished in 2001. The tower is identical to the one at Tromsø Airport and cost NOK 40 million.
RWY 18: 108.3
TORP TOR (TORP): 113.85
SKI (SKIEN): 113.60
DRA (DRAMMEN): 114.80