Tor 29 feb / År 42 / Nr 5 2023

Pajala Airport’s positive transformation – now ready for new connection 

In recent years, Pajala Airport has undergone a very extensive and for the region very positive transformation. The level of ambition is high, at least as high as for other and significantly larger airports. Pajala Airport is a smaller airport but of great significance for a geographically large region.

The goal is also to be able to establish a new route and preferably in collaboration with an operator who thinks long-term and who, like Pajala Airport, sees that the region’s growth will create opportunities for really good business.

Norrbotten is up and running on all fronts. There is no mistaking it, not when some of Europe’s biggest industrial investments are taking place in the region. In the long term, Norrbotten will not only be a geographically large region, it will also grow in number of inhabitants, companies, jobs and not least in importance for Sweden as a strong exporting industrial nation.

Prepared for a new connection 

A growing region naturally needs to be strengthened with even better infrastructure. Pajala Airport is an important piece of the puzzle in such a development.

”There are so many incredibly good things happening here in the region, and there must be good conditions for getting to and from Pajala in a simple and flexible way. We have neighboring airports on the Finnish side but they have reached their maximum capacity a long time ago. Therefore, we have to invest in expanding our airport and in creating interest among flight operators”, says Robert Pettersson, Director at Pajala Airport.

A new part of the arrival hall is already built, and the development work continues so that in the near future we can welcome even more happy tourists to Pajala.

The goal is also to be able to establish a new route and preferably in collaboration with an operator who thinks long-term and who, like Pajala Airport, sees that the region’s growth will create opportunities for really good business.

Being able to establish a new line to one of the major hubs in Europe, preferably in one of the Benelux countries, France or Germany, is more than a wishful dream. With the region’s growth in mind, there should be great interest among airline operators who want to make the northern region accessible to both tourists and business travelers.

“We continue our dialogue with various operators and my hope is that a new connection will be established as early as 2024. We are looking forward to such a development”, says Robert.

Fossil-free airport

Pajala Airport’s capacity has been expanded in recent years, with a new part of the international arrivals hall ready, luggage belt and service areas, among other things. All that is needed to be able to expand, in other words. But are they equally well prepared when it comes to climate work?

“I would say that we absolutely are”, answers Robert.

Another major work that is still ongoing is to make Pajala Airport a fossil-free airport. The biggest on the theme is the Green Airport climate project. It covers Sweden’s regional airports and is based on consumer demand for sustainable travel.

“We have as high a demand for sustainable travel in Pajala as there is at larger airports. The project includes two major overarching goals: by 2030, all domestic traffic must be fossil-free, and by 2045, all foreign traffic starting from Sweden must also be fossil-free”.

The Green Airport project includes, among other things, work to increase the production of biofuels for aviation. For a smaller airport like Pajala Airport, the environmental efforts mean heavy investments, but here they rely on politicians that understand the value of investing in green development and not least the green aviation that all airports in Sweden are working towards now.

“In order to reach the goals, all airports have a lot left to do, but we have come a long way here in Pajala”, says Robert.