Finavia Corporation is investing EUR 13 million in the safety of air traffic and the operating conditions of business life and tourism in the Oulu region by renovating traffic areas at Oulu Airport. When implemented, this will be Finavia's largest single investment in regional airports in 2017, giving employment to hundreds of people during the summer.
Oulu Airport is the second busiest airport in Finland and, this year, it will reach the milestone of one million passengers. This renovation continues the service changes completed in 2014. During the 2000s, Finavia has invested some EUR 30 million in Oulu Airport. The goal of these significant investments is to secure the competitiveness of the airport. The final decision on the investment planned for next summer will be made in early 2017.
“Oulu Airport plays an important part for business life in the region and for Finland's competitiveness in northern Finland. In Oulu, the number of passengers has developed positively, and customers are more and more satisfied with the airport services. The runway will be closed for a month and this will, unfortunately, have an impact on the comfort of passengers and the financial results of many providers of commercial services. However, our objective is to secure the safety and smooth flow of traffic, as well as the capacity of the airport to respond to future growth in air traffic. This requires a high level of safety, which is also guaranteed by the proper maintenance of traffic areas,” says Joni Sundelin, senior vice president at Finavia.
During the renovation planned for next summer, the runway, the taxiways and the apron of the airport will be resurfaced. In total, 360,000 m2 of new asphalt will be spread over the renovated areas. At the same time, the lighting system serving the runway and taxiways will be modernised, and the taxiways located at the ends of the runway will be upgraded for wide-bodied aircraft. The traffic areas at Oulu Airport were previously renovated in 2001–2002.
“This renovation will have an impact on passenger traffic from Oulu, and we will do our best to minimise any negative impact by completing the project in stages. After the renovation, Oulu Airport will be in historically good condition and even more capable to serve airlines and passengers,” says Liisa Sallinen, manager of Oulu Airport at Finavia.
The airport was previously modernised in 2014 when the passenger experience was improved at the terminal. That project focused on passenger services and comfort at the terminal and the functionality of parking areas. After the modernisation, customer satisfaction surveys have ranked Oulu Airport among the best airports with excellent scores.
The renovation will be carried out in summer when the traffic volume is lower. The plan is to perform the renovation in three stages so that the runway will be fully closed between 26 June and 31 July 2017. During limited availability, night-time traffic, in particular, will be restricted. As a result, the period when the runway is fully unavailable will be as short as possible.
Any impact on passenger traffic will be specified during the planning process.
Planned schedule for 2017
27 April– 26 June: Shorter runway in use (1,800 m/safety zone 300 m)
2–28 May: Runway fully closed at nights from 10:00 pm to 5:30 am
26 June–31 July: Runway fully closed
31 July–31 August: Shorter runway in use (1,800 m/safety zone 300 m)
31 July– 13 August: Runway fully closed at nights from 10:00 pm to 5:30 am
The restrictions on night-time traffic required at stages 1 and 3 during the renovation will be specified during the planning process.