Finland’s airport operator’s new investment programme will enable Lapland’s airports to serve 2 million passengers by 2030.
The airports in Finnish Lapland enjoyed a record-breaking year in 2017 with the number of passengers increasing by 23% to a total of 1.3 million. Finavia has responded to the continued strong outlook in Lapland’s tourism sector by launching an EUR 55 million investment programme to expand the capacity of Rovaniemi, Kittilä and Ivalo airports, enabling them to serve 2 million passengers in 2030.
According to Kimmo Mäki, CEO, Finavia, the investments will improve customer experience and the service level at the airports as well as ensuring safe traffic even as the number of flights and passengers grows. Finavia is also making the recovery and recycling of the glycol used in aircraft de-icing more efficient, reducing the environmental impact of air traffic on bodies of water.
Rovaniemi Airport will undergo a major expansion that will increase the hourly capacity of the airport from three planes to five planes and provide more spacious and comfortable facilities for passengers. At Kittilä Airport, the expansion includes two new taxiways, more aircraft stands and the opening of a new extension for departing passengers. Ivalo Airport will almost double its aircraft parking capacity and open a new baggage reclaim hall.
The expansion work at the three airports will be completed by the end of 2019 but much of the new air traffic infrastructure will already be in place by the 2018–2019 winter season.
Tourism creates demand for new concepts and services
All three airports are located near ski resorts and other popular tourist attractions. The new investments will further boost the growth of Lapland’s tourism industry and increase Finland’s accessibility and competitiveness. Finavia’s target for the year 2030 is that the airports in Lapland and in the neighbouring region of Kuusamo will be used by two million passengers annually.
“Finavia’s total investments in Lapland during the period 2014–2019 will reach EUR 100 million which sends a strong signal to the investment community. Finland is a sound and predictable business environment and the exceptional growth rates in the tourism sector create demand for new concepts and services,” says Hanna Lankinen, Head of Business Development at Business Finland's Invest in Finland unit.
Ranked as the safest travel destination in the world, Finland is an easily accessible hub from both the East and West. In 2017, Finland received a total of 8.3 million foreign visitors of which 5 million were overnight visitors and 3.3 million were day-trip visitors.
“Our unique, clean and unspoilt nature with high sustainability standards makes Finland an attractive destination for tourists and investors alike,” says Lankinen.
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