Tourists keen to see the aurora borealis, skiers and other visitors heading to Western Lapland will travel to the fells more effortlessly, as the renovated Kittilä Airport is now in operation. The expansion work adds to the comfort of the airport.
Kimmo Liukkonen, Manager of Kittilä Airport, states that the updated airport offers a smoother service experience.
“The passenger experience has been transformed after the renovation. We renewed the signs and schedule displays, added water points so that passengers can fill their bottles more conveniently and built a children’s playground. We also have two new restaurants where reindeer ramen, for example, can be enjoyed.”
According to Liukkonen, however, the fundamental change involves providing more room for passengers about to board their flight. In Kittilä, these visitors often waited for several hours, and before the renovation the terminal was often a little cramped. Now there are 1500 square meters of additional space for departing passengers. Moreover, 600 square meters of extra space will be completed at passport control, an added benefit for arriving passengers.
The runway has also been modernised. A new short taxiway has been built, which creates another access point to the runway and allows for more flexibility with regard to traffic. Aircraft stops have likewise been added: before they were officially six, now there are 12.
Muonio area favourite for those seeking peace and quiet
Snow and the northern environment are still the top reasons for traveling to Western Lapland, although climate change has somewhat shortened the snowy season in the Nordic region. According to Liukkonen, local service providers are constantly investing in snowless season tourism: for example, mountain biking is gaining popularity.
“Still, summer is much quieter than winter. The busiest hour in December corresponds almost to the total number of passengers in June,” Liukkonen chuckles.
On the other hand, everyone flying north does not seek to do so much apart from experiencing some peace and quiet. According to Liukkonen, people from Netherlands especially travel to Western Lapland to spend some quality time with nature.
The impressive fell area of Pallas is especially popular with nature tourists, and the cleanest air in the world measured in Muonio is definitely a tourist attraction. Ylläs and Levi, meanwhile, have good accommodation facilities, large ski resorts and a wide range of programs for families.
Kittilä's brilliant location alongside the slopes will ensure the development of the airport in the future.
“On 22 December, Swiss starts a new route from Geneva to Kittilä, meaning that the growth of passengers from Central Europe seems to continue. Lapland is more interesting than ever.”