Active tourism operations are speeding up the development of airports in Lapland

Travel
Published
26.2.2015 - 07:00
Press release
Finavia Corporation’s investment in the expansion of Ivalo Airport is approaching completion. The new terminal section will be opened to travellers during spring. The active operations of local tourism operators have been a significant factor in the development of air traffic and airports in Finland. The number of transfer passengers from Helsinki Airport to Ivalo doubled compared to the previous year.

Finavia's expansion of Ivalo Airport has proceeded according to schedule. The new section of the terminal will be open for use in May. The airport expansion will make the running of the airport smoother, and after it has been taken into use, the renovation of the existing terminal building will begin.

- Work in Ivalo is proceeding well and the terminal expansion will be ready before summer. The renovation of the current terminal will start immediately after that. According to the plan, it will be completed in November, just in time for the next winter season, says Martti Oinas, regional manager for airports in Lapland for Finavia Corporation.

After the renovation is completed, the travelling experience will be even smoother and more comfortable, especially during peak season. Finavia will also prepare the airport for increasing traffic volumes.

Finavia's investment supports the local tourism industry

Finavia's investment in tourism in Lapland is valued at over EUR 30 million. In addition to the airport expansion, the investment includes improving parking areas, and a runway renovation completed last summer.

Investments are justified since the entire surrounding area and local tourism operators are committed to developing air traffic and increasing the attractiveness of the region.

- Investments of this magnitude are justified since the entire surrounding area in general, and local tourism operators in particular, are committed to developing air traffic and are investing in increasing the attractiveness of the region. We believe in the attractiveness of the Inari–Saariselkä region as a tourism destination, says Joni Sundelin, director of Finavia's airport network.

Inari municipality is investing hundreds of thousands of euros in tourism marketing and promoting air traffic. Nature and culture in the Inari–Saariselkä region offer a good basis for tourism, but the municipality has also been actively developing the content of tourism products and has focused marketing on suitable target groups.

- From our point of view, Finavia's investment in Ivalo Airport is a key investment, because the role of air traffic role in accessibility is great here in the north. However, we do understand that airport is not much good by itself, if there are no flights there. Boosting air traffic in the region is a big responsibility, and we are committed to this work, says Janne Seurujärvi, Director for Business and Economic Development for the municipality of Inari.

Transit traffic through Helsinki to Ivalo doubles

Finavia’s latest statistics reveal that passenger volumes to Ivalo via Helsinki increased considerably in November–December 2014. The number of transfer passengers from Helsinki Airport to Ivalo doubled compared to the previous year.

- The growth is a clear indication of the fact that the Inari–Saariselkä region is currently attracting foreign tourists. We should not forget either that it is a reasonably short distance from Ivalo Airport to the shores of the Arctic Ocean and northern Norway, which are also popular tourism destinations, says Sundelin.

In addition to Ivalo, Finavia is determined to invest in other airports in Lapland.

The terminal of Rovaniemi Airport will be renovated to raise its functioning, look and comfort to a new level as a result of a project to be launched in 2015. The recently renovated Kittilä Airport will see improvements to its traffic areas next summer.