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Thu, 27 August 2015

Finavia Upgrades Santa's Official Airport

Rovaniemi Airport in Finland is in the middle of large-scale improvements.

The security checkpoint will receive a total facelift, passport control will be relocated, and the facilities of Customs will be renovated.

Services will also be upgraded with a new restaurant section and the comfort of the terminal area will receive special attention, in particular in the gate area following the security check.

"The security check lines are all but ready, and the construction of the restaurant section is well under way. The furniture in the gate area will be updated and the walls reimagined with the nature of the Arctic Circle in mind. If all goes as planned, we should be finished and ready in November, just before the start of the winter season," said Martti Oinas, Finavia's regional manager for Lapland and manager of Rovaniemi Airport.

There are five daily flights from Helsinki to Rovaniemi, operated by Finnair and Norwegian.

During the winter season, the airport also receives many charter flights with passengers who come to see the Santa Claus Village and other sights.

Activity at Finland's third largest airport changes with the travel seasons. Towards the end of the summer season, for example, air passengers number some 30,000 per month, whereas the peak months in winter will see as many as 100,000 passengers.

"More and more Asian passengers are coming in from Helsinki Airport, and just recently I flew to Rovaniemi next to a New Zealander, who was here for a conference trip. Our airport is the first contact many international passengers will have with Finland, and this first contact is now being improved to be smoother and more comfortable. We will offer a taste of the atmosphere of Lapland to the tourists who have come to experience it," said Oinas.

In addition to creating ambience, the renovations will make the terminal space more functional for both passengers and employees. One notable aspect will be the new elevator in the gate area that will improve the accessibility of the flight boarding buses for passengers with reduced mobility.

The work will be completed before the winter season starts, but new projects are already in the making for next year. Runway surface work is planned for the summer of 2016, with simultaneous improvement of the runway lighting system. The runway project is still in its planning phases, which means that the schedule and the project's impact on traffic remain unclear.

Rovaniemi Airport is the official airport of Santa Claus.

Finavia, Lapland

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