The employment impact of the investments throughout Finland has been 2,500 man-years in the last two years. In the future, a lot of new work will continue to be provided, especially as a result of the Helsinki Airport expansion.
The total employment impact of the investment programme of about 100 million Euros in the maintenance and development of provincial airports in 2014–2015 has been over 600 man-years. The employment impact of the investments in the capital region in 2014–2015 was about 1,900 man-years.
The proportion of Finnish work in projects in different locations in Finland has been considerable. The largest investments in the provinces were made in Lapland airports (Ivalo, Rovaniemi and Kittilä) and Oulu, Turku and Tampere-Pirkkala. In addition, the Helsinki Airport expansion will result in a lot of work in the capital region.
As a result of the renovation and maintenance projects enabled by the investment programme, the airport infrastructure of Finland is competitive and will provide air traffic throughout Finland with cost-effective, high-quality services. The goal of Finavia is that the input will improve the status of air traffic in Finland. In its evaluation for 2015–2016, the World Economic Forum placed the competitiveness and quality of the Finnish airport network as among the best in the world.
“In these economically challenging times, the investments in airports have boosted the Finnish labour market. In the provinces, the projects have provided work for machine shops, engineering and construction service companies and technicians. Finavia’s goal is to allocate investments as extensively as possible to airports where there is a demand for airport services”, says Kari Savolainen, managing director of Finavia.
Air traffic is the only form of traffic in Finland not subsidised through taxes. The airport investments are implemented with the cash flow from Finavia’s business, which is why Finavia is continuously on the hunt for more cost-effectiveness in its operations and aims to increase demand for its services in different ways.
“The airports in Finland are in better shape than ever. Finavia wants to contribute to ensuring that Finland's airports serve airlines and passengers effectively and well. However, it is important to note that a high-quality airport is not enough to ensure well-functioning flight connections. The functionality of connections is ultimately resolved by the genuine demand for air traffic in each area. We will cooperate with the operators in the regions and the tourism sector to make Finland a more appealing destination for travellers. There is a lot of potential in this”, says Savolainen.
Air traffic is a major source of employment
Air traffic in Finland provides work for about 100,000 people. The Helsinki Airport area directly provides work for about 20,000 people, and the airport has become an important employer in the capital region.
The estimated employment impact of the Helsinki Airport construction work according to the development programme, which lasts until 2020, is 14,000 man-years. The employment effects will show in particular as of this year when construction work begins in the airport area. An increase in Helsinki Airport's passenger volume to 20 million would create about 5,000 new permanent jobs.
“International transit travel has increased in volume in the last few years, and the growth will continue. Air traffic will continue to provide work in the future, too, especially in the capital region, where work will be provided for professionals in the construction and engineering industries, as well as in customer service and the catering industry”, says Savolainen.