Finavia launches €55 million investment programme at Lapland’s airports

Rovaniemi, Kittilä and Ivalo airports will be expanded and more services added in response to rapid growth in the number of passengers.

PHOTOBOMB: Tourism in Lapland is booming

Finland’s biggest airport operator, state-owned Finavia, has announced it is investing around €55 million in three airports in the country’s northernmost region. The infrastructure investment is intended to enable further growth in Lapland’s thriving tourism industry whilst increasing the whole county’s accessibility and competitiveness.

According to Kimmo Maki, the CEO of Finavia, the new funding will bring its investment in the region’s tourism to nearly €100 million.

There has been record-breaking growth in the number of passengers at Lapland’s airports, and last year the number of passengers reached 1.3 million. The growth from the previous year was 23 per cent. Rovaniemi, Kittilä and Ivalo airports grew the most at 19 per cent, 26 per cent and 17 per cent respectively.

The programme launched by Finavia will allow Lapland’s airports to serve two million passengers a year.

According to Mäki, the aim of the development programme at Lapland’s airports is to improve the customer experience and service level and increase capacity as well as to ensure safe traffic even as the number of flights and passengers grows.

Investments in environmental protection will be made at the same time. Finavia will make the recovery and recycling of the glycol used in aircraft de-icing more efficient, thereby reducing the environmental impact of air traffic on bodies of water.

Finavia will expand Rovaniemi Airport’s passenger terminal by 75 per cent. The space for passengers will increase from the current 6,000 square metres to about 10,500 square metres. The new facilities will make the terminal more spacious and comfortable. The hourly capacity of the airport will increase from the current three planes to five.

Modern passenger facilities will be added to the baggage reclaim area and other areas, and the café area will quadruple in size. A new passenger boarding bridge that makes boarding faster will be installed in the terminal. After this, Rovaniemi Airport will have three passenger boarding bridges.

The Rovaniemi Airport expansion project will be completed by the Christmas season of 2019.

At Kittilä Airport, Finavia will add two new taxiways and expand the terminal. The service level will be improved by the Christmas season of 2018 with the opening of the extension for departing passengers. The new facilities will include services such as a second café. New space will also be added to the passport control for arriving passengers. The expansion will add a total of 2,000 square metres of new space.

Finavia will increase the capacity and smoothness of air traffic by building two new taxiways: a short one and a long one. In addition, the number of aircraft stands will be increased to 13. A large part of the new air traffic infrastructure will be ready by the 2018–2019 winter season, and the rest will be ready by the next winter season.

At Ivalo Airport, Finavia will build new aircraft stands, which will nearly double the aircraft parking capacity and thus increase the smoothness of air traffic. The number of aircraft stands will increase from four to seven by the winter of 2018.

The space for passengers will increase by 1,000 square metres. The new baggage reclaim hall will free up space for the whole terminal, thus making the space more comfortable and improving the customer experience. The terminal extension will be ready by the winter of 2019.

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