The Norwegian government voted to allocate NOK 1.5 billion (€164 million) for the construction of a new airport in Helgeland, between Mo i Rana in the north of Norway and Hemavan in Sweden. The project is included in the national transport plan, stretching from 2018 till 2029. In addition, Rana Municipality and enterprises in Mo i Rana will invest NOK 600 million in order to have the project started as soon as possible. The entire airport project will cost NOK 2 billion if the construction of adjoining roads is included in the price according to the Kvarken Council, one of the Nordic Council of Minister's official border regional organisations.
However, neither of Norway's two biggest airlines, SAS and Norwegian, are committing to setting up flights to and from the planned airport, believing the new airport will entail increased costs for the airlines, which in turn will affect passengers.
“As of today, the airport development does not benefits us. With a so thin traffic basis, we believe this development is a wrong priority” Ove Myrold, director of public affairs and infrastructure in SAS told the news agency NTB.
“All large transport projects have a cost overlap, and we are concerned that a development like this will lead to raised costs for airlines and thereby also higher prices for customers” said Lasse Sandaker-Nielsen, communications director at Norwegian.
The project’s developer, Polarsirklen lufthavnutvikling (Polar Circle Airport Development), aims to make the airport operational by 2024.
London and Oslo-based Haptic Architects and Norway’s largest studio – Nordic Office of Architecture have been appointed to design the new airport. The project, just south of the Arctic Circle in prime northern lights and midnight sun territory, includes a new terminal building, airport control tower, service buildings and associated structures.