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Milestone anniversaries for regional airports in northern Finland


Finland’s Ivalo and Oulu airports will celebrate their 80th and 70th anniversaries, respectively, this year.

Jonna Pietilä, Finavia’s vice president for northern Finland airports, has no doubt that both gateways play a key role in the country’s airport system.

“The airports of Oulu and Ivalo have served passengers and airlines for decades and have developed into important hubs for tourism and business,” notes Pietilä.

“Both airports ensure good connections and accessibility for the area.”

Operator, Finavia, states that it has made significant investments in the development of both Ivalo and Oulu airports, including spending tens of millions of euros in improving the infrastructure and services at its airports.

Ivalo Airport – the northern most airport in Finland

Airport manager,  Jarmo Pyhäjärvi, says: “Ivalo Airport is the northern most airport in Finavia’s airport network and in all of Finland. The Christmas season is the busiest time of the year at our airport, as tourists from all over the world come to admire the magic of Lapland.”

Pyhäjärvi says that the 80th anniversary is an important milestone for the airport. Ivalo Airport was originally completed in 1943 but was destroyed in the Lapland War in 1945. After the war, the airport was rebuilt. The gold rush in Lapland in particular gave an impetus to the rebuilding of the airport.

He says: “Over the years, we have extended Ivalo Airport several times to serve the growing number of passengers. In 2016, 1,000 square metres of extra space was added to the terminal, and in 2018, the apron was extended, which doubled the number of aircraft stands, among other things. The latest extension took place in 2019, when the arrivals hall was completed.”

Year-round air traffic at Ivalo Airport began in 1975. The number of passengers travelling via Ivalo Airport increased to more than 200,000 for the first time in 2017. The Christmas season is the busiest time of the year at the airport, as tourists from all over the world come to admire the magic of Lapland.

Finavia takes advantage of the Arctic conditions and develops and tests its own maintenance equipment, among other things, at Ivalo Airport.

Oulu Airport – a hub for air traffic in Northern Finland

“Over the years, Oulu Airport has developed into a hub for air traffic in Northern Finland, offering good and regular connections for both business and leisure travellers,” says Liisa Sallinen, Finavia’s airport manager of Oulu Airport.

Sallinen adds that the 70-year-old Oulu Airport is the second busiest airport in Finland after Helsinki Airport in terms of passenger numbers. Oulu Airport reached one million passengers for the first time in 2012.

Oulu Airport was completed in 1953, which is also when the airline Aero began operating regular flights between Oulu and Helsinki.

The first actual airport building was completed five years later in 1958, after which Finavia has extended and developed Oulu Airport several times. This happened most recently in 2011, when Finavia extended the terminal and baggage handling facilities by a total of 6,450 square metres.

“Early this year, both airports will celebrate their anniversaries by serving anniversary coffee. It will be nice to celebrate the history of the airports with the entire airport community and the passengers,” says Jonna Pietilä.

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