Nordicum - Real Estate Annual Finland 2015 - Page 60

Photos: Lundén Architecture Oy / Garla & Park International expo area is connected directly to the city centre and gates. Off the Ground AiRRport promises to unleash the true potential of air, road and rail traffic There’s a real game-changer in the works in the Tampere Region. The idea is to revolutionise air travel – or rather, to make sure that air traffic fulfils Tampere’s promise as a Smart City of tomorrow. Known as the AiRRport concept, the new logistics scheme promises to bridge air with road and rail in an unprecedented manner. K ari Neilimo, Chairman of the AiRRport Group, perceives remarkable business opportunities in the venture. Neilimo argues that the concept is a “truly strategic” tool that can rejuvenate business in West and Central Finland a great deal. “In today’s world, it’s hard to imagine a company that can survive without great connections. With the AiRRport concept, we move that much closer to a whole new world economically. This is bound to give wings to also new business models and opportunities.” Another issue to consider is the Helsinki-Hämeenlinna-Tampere (HHT) economic corridor which is already the number one engine for growth in the country – but the AiRRport concept can really enhance its competitiveness, too. 58 Nordicum Get into the Pipeline But what is AiRRport all about, then? Private consultant Toni Virkkunen and Jouni Lehtomaa from Ramboll explain that, at present, goods enjoy better freedom of travel than people who are being herded from one security check to another at the airports. We have come to accept that as part of post9/11 world – but what if there would be an alternative? “We have existing infrastructure in place that should be used to facilitate smoother air traffic. All that is needed is for the railway network to be integrated into the airport in a new way,” Virkkunen says. This means that if you’re travelling from, say, Jyväskylä to Tampere to take a flight, your “travel experience” starts already at the Jyväskylä railway station as you go through luggage check. Once you’re in the train, you’re already in the “flight zone”. When you arrive to Tampere, you’re promptly whisked away to the right gate and fast-track security check – and you’re ready for take-off. “Under this de-centralised concept, standing in lines for extended periods of time will be eliminated almost altogether,” says Lehtomaa. Downtown Dynamics Also, the service level will improve tremendously. The current trend is to build up airports into massive “semi-cities” with just about anything a traveler might possibly need – but this seems rather excessive, given