The partners in the project E12 Atlantica Transport were delighted to receive a couple of weeks ago the news they have been working for in ten years. The Norwegian government showed green light for the construction of a new international airport in the vicinity of Mo i Rana.
The airport and northern lights. Picture: Nordic Office of Architecture
The Norwegian government has reserved 1.47 milliard Norwegian krone for the construction of a new airport in Helgeland, between Mo i Rana in 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 600 million krone, in order to have the project started as soon as possible. The entire airport project will cost two milliard krone if the construction of adjoining roads is included in the price.
– We are utterly delighted with this piece of news. What we now witness is the result of cooperation between politicians from all parties, municipalities, and business life. Our ambition is to start the construction work in 2018. If everything goes smoothly the airport with a 2,400-metre runway – enabling planes with up to 200 passengers to land there – will be ready in 2020/2021, says Mr Henrik Johansen, managing director of Polarsirkelen Lufthavnutvikling AS development company.
Mr Geir Waage, chairman of the municipal council in Mo i Rana, agrees: – The government’s decision to build a new big airport in Helgeland may prove just as important as Storting’s (Norwegian parliament’s) decision in 1946 to establish an ironworks in Mo i Rana. The socio-economic benefits will be huge. We are not only an important tourist area but also a competitive industrial region. – Both the public and the private sectors in our region will benefit hugely from the optimism created by the new airport. It will bring in more jobs, more inhabitants, the industries will grown, businesses likewise. Optimism creates investments which, in turn, create jobs. Jobs attract new inhabitants and new optimism, Waage continues.
Optimism is noticeable also on the Swedish side of the E12 corridor. Mr Tomas Mörtsell, chairman of the municipal council of Storuman, finds this project very valuable:
– We have good cross-border cooperation here and the airport will have a positive impact. We in the Munipality of Storuman recognize that there will be more jobs in the construction stage, but the tourism industry will get the biggest benefits. A ride from the airport e.g. to Tärnafjällen ski resort takes only one hour, a very short time in the international perspective.
The progress of the airport project will influence also the work carried out in our joint cross-border projects, E12 Atlantica Transport and MABA II, which continue the work done in Midway Alignment. Both of these projects aim at strengthening the transport route from Mo i Rana on the Atlantic coast in Norway across Sweden and the Kvarken Strait to Ostrobothnia in Finland.
– Our warmest congratulations! This is a perfect example of what can be achieved through cooperation. The airport project will have a huge impact along the entire E12 corridor and it will greatly influence both the travel patterns and infrastructure planning of the corridor. At the same time, it generates further optimism and faith in the future in the entire Kvarken region, adds Mr Joakim Strand, MP in the Finnish parliament and chairman of the Board of the Kvarken Council.
Further information: http://lufthavnutvikling.no
E12 Atlantica Transport – The project is a cross-border cooperation between partners in Finland, Sweden and Norway along the E12, focusing on development of a functional multi-modal transport route for goods and passengers, joint strategies for cross-border planning and future cooperation structures.
E12 Atlantica Transport partners
Kvarken Council (Lead part, FI), MidtSkandia (NO), Blå Vägen (SE) Region Västerbotten (SE), Regional Council of Ostrobothnia (FI), Nordland fylkeskommune (NO) Vaasa Regional Development Company VASEK (FI), Umeå Municipality (SE), Vännäs Municipality (SE), Vindeln Municipality (SE), Lycksele Municipality (SE), Storuman Municipality (SE), Infrastruktur i Umeå AB INAB (SE), Rana Utviklingsselskap AS (NO), Rana Municipality (NO), Polarsirkelen Lufthavnutvikling (NO), Port of Mo i Rana (NO), Mo Industripark AS (NO), Alastahaug havnevesen KF (NO), Helgeland Havn IKS (NO)