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Photo: Scandinavian Mountains Airport

This new airport is your direct route to the snow

A new airport is opening in the middle of Scandinavia’s largest ski area this winter – Scandinavian Mountains Airport. The airport will mean travelers can hit the slopes the same day they arrive. The aim is that everyone can be on their way to the slopes just 15 minutes after the plane has landed.

The nearest ski resort, Hundfjället/Tandådalen, is only a nine-minute drive from the airport. If you travel a little further, you’ll reach the other resorts of the Swedish Sälenfjällen region: Stöten, Kläppen, Lindvallen and Högfjället. Just over the border, you’ll find Norway’s largest ski resort, Trysil.

The airport opens its doors around Christmas, when SAS will begin operating three international routes to Sälen: from London, Copenhagen and Aalborg.

“The international market is what provides the region with the greatest opportunity for growth,” Gunnar Gunnar Lenman, CEO of Scandinavian Mountains AirportLenman says. “So having an airport here, with direct SAS routes from Europe, is ideal.”

Scandinavian Mountains Airport is the first new airport in Sweden for over 20 years and there have already been opportunities to benefit from the lessons learned about how a modern airport needs to work.

“This is an ultramodern airport, with all the latest features. Self-check-in and a unique, rapid security check are just two examples. We’re only a small airport, but we’ll be using the latest technology,” Gunnar says, continuing:

“We sell time. One of our main focuses has been enabling passengers to get out onto the slopes as quickly as possible. So we have shuttle buses that go directly to the different resorts, timed to coincide with the flights. Our aim is for travelers to be on the bus within 15 minutes of the plane landing.”

Environmental focus

Sustainability is another important aspect that’s taken seriously here. When building the airport, they tried to have as little impact on nature as possible.

“We didn’t remove any material from here when constructing the airport,” Lenman says. “We also used a quarry just a few kilometers away, to keep the transport distances as short as possible.”

Photo: Skistar

The environmental work will continue even after the airport has opened its doors. Electric vehicles will be used as much as possible and district heating will provide the heat for the airport. All the lights at the airport are LEDs and the shuttle buses run on fossil-free fuel.

“We’ve become a lot more environmentally aware over the past 20 years. We’re in the middle of nature here and we need to live in harmony with it. This applies both to us and to the airlines that fly here, which is why we’re so pleased that SAS will be operating these routes using its quietest and most fuel-efficient aircraft, the A320neo.”

Anders Bjernulf, CEO for Destination SälenfjällenA total of 33 of the region’s private companies, large and small, are behind the airport. They’re pleased to see increased visitor numbers, of course, but the airport means so much more than that.

“It’s a growth engine that will have a positive impact on the entire region,” says Anders Bjernulf, CEO of Destination Sälenfjällen. “Increased tax revenues and more people moving here will provide improved conditions for properly functioning welfare.”

At a time when many rural towns are struggling to retain their well-educated and young residents, the airport will mean skills development for the entire area.

As much as Scandinavian Mountains Airport brings opportunities for people to come to the Swedish mountains, it also opens up routes out into Europe for the local population.

“Quite a few people have suddenly realized that ‘yes, now I can travel directly to London in just a few hours’,” Bjernulf continues.

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