Fre 24 maj / År 42 / Nr 1 2024

Strong incentives for further development of Pajala Airport

The current development of Pajala Airport is one of the most extensive investments in Pajala for many years. There is a lot going on in the municipality and in the region as a whole, with heavy investments of international interest. The expansion of the international terminal at Pajala Airport is a first step in a larger investment in developing the regional infrastructure.

Pajala Airport will become an important hub in the development of large parts of north-eastern Norrbotten’s infrastructure. A reinforced infrastructure is, in turn, part of a larger investment where the region grows as extensive industrial investments are planned and carried out within and in connection to the region.

Another important part of the investment for Pajala Airport’s development can be linked to regional destination development. Today, many people travel to Pajala via one of the neighbouring airports in Finland, but max capacity has already been reached according to Erik Mella, business strategist in Pajala.

“We have a strategically operational airport locally and it should be natural to choose Pajala Airport for all trips to and from our part of the region”, Mella believes.

New terminal in 2022

To increase interest in Pajala Airport among flight operators, extensive improvement work has been carried out. This includes, among other things, an expansion of the international terminal with all conceivable services around it. The new terminal measures 350 square meters in size and was completed at the end of 2022.

There is a strong strategic incentive on the part of the municipality as well as Region Norrbotten to invest further for Pajala Airport’s expansion.

For many years, the airport has received many larger aircraft each winter, each filled with around 200 tourists from the UK. The winter tourists travel to Pajala to visit Santa Claus in Santa’s Winter Village. The attraction is so popular that all flights between the UK and Pajala are fully booked each year.

“Thanks to the success of Santa’s Winter Village, Pajala Airport has built up competence and experience to handle larger flights. That knowledge will come in handy now that we plan to establish at least one new connection to one of the most important hubs in Belgium, France, the Netherlands and/or Germany”, says Erik Mella.

Major development takes place in the north

At the time of writing, huge industrial investments are planned for the whole of Norrbotten and also in the neighbouring county of Västerbotten.

“It is in the north that the main development is taking place right now, and will take place for a long time to come”, notes Erik Mella.

The municipality of Pajala and Region Norrbotten are making the big investment in the expansion of the international terminal in order to rake the arena for the entire business community.

“With the new terminal, we can handle flights with over 200 passengers with a turn-around of around 60 minutes. The flight must be able to arrive with 200 passengers and an hour later depart with 200 new passengers. This is of great interest to most air operators and something that we need to guarantee for there to be any interest in establishing new connections from Pajala”, says Robert Pettersson, Director at Pajala Airport.

In addition to the latest development of the international terminal, the sustainability work at Pajala Airport also continues to expand. This, among other things within the Green Airport project, which is a joint project for Sweden’s regional airports. In the long term, Pajala Airport should also be able to offer green aviation fuel and future electric flights.