Innovative solution sought for the Enontekiö airport
The municipalities of Enontekiö and Muonio, Fell Lapland Development, and local entrepreneurs are working together to find a new solution for the Enontekiö airport, where the number of travellers grew by 23 % in early 2020 compared to last year. The airport is one of the growth areas in Lapland tourism. The shared view in the area is that the airport must keep operating, with no interruptions, and receive travellers also in the coming season.
Tourism in Lapland is an important export industry maintaining Finnish competitiveness. All 27 979 of the passengers passing through Enontekiö airport are international travellers. However, there has been talk of Finavia stopping maintenance for the airport. The municipalities and the local industry and commerce representatives have actively sought for a solution to secure operations for the Enontekiö airport. They feel that investing in the airport would trigger other, new investments in the area and provide immediate employment. Negotiations with both various ministers and with Finavia have been conducted in an amicable atmosphere. The municipalities and the local industry and commerce representatives will draft a plan and present an alternative to the current operational model. The airport will be considered as part of the Lapland airfield network and as a traffic hub, and not only from the viewpoint of tourism.
-The current realistic option is that the new owner will assume responsibility for the airport in two years. We hope that the State will also support this idea and act accordingly – meaning that the current operator will keep maintaining the airport until then and allow for no interruptions, says Hannu Autto, Development Manager at the municipality of Enontekiö.
The regional economic significance of the Enontekiö airport in 2018 was 4.2 million Euros, and it provided employment for 450 man-years. In this light, investing in the airport will pay for itself in a matter of years. In Enontekiö, tourism accounts for 47 % of all business turnover.
-Air traffic creates opportunities not only for tourism but also for other business development in the area, and it also maintains our vitality, says Veli-Matti Hettula, Head of Operations at Fell Lapland Development.
Jari Rantapelkonen, Municipal Manager
+358 (0)400 694 945
Veli-Matti Hettula, Head of Operations
Fell Lapland Development
+358 (0)400 415 345