Oulu Airport (OUL IATA) (Finnish: Oulun Lentoasema) is an airport in Oulu, Finland. The airport is the second busiest in the country with nearly a million yearly passengers. Alongside with commercial flights, the airport is also extensively used as a military training site by the Finnish Air Force. The terminal got a major extension in 2011 and now offers four new jet bridges as well as more indoor spaces raising the capacity of the airport to 1.5 million.
The first aerodrome in Oulu was opened in October 1936, and the first route flight was flown on the 15th of June 1939 by the airline Aero Oy with the route being Helsinki-Tampere-Oulu-Kemi. Back then the aerodrome was located in Oritkari, the other side of the Kempeleenlahti bay, south of the city center. Later on the route got longer, going all the way to Petsamo and stopping on more important places in-between the starting point and the ending point. The route was open only in the summers until the Continuation War when they noticed that the runway was too small for DC-2 planes. No route flights were flown to Oulu in almost a decade.
In the end of the year 1949 the Council of State decided to build a bigger airport to serve Oulu, and the location was chosen to be Oulunsalo. On June 30th, 1953, the new airport was opened. The first plane landed on the, then still gravel-paved runway, at 11:15 local time. The flight was operated by, once again, Aero Oy and the plane was a DC-3.
After this, the airport has faced several renovations, and the first part of the current terminal was opened in 1973. The terminal was heavily expanded in 1994 and 2011. Nowadays the airport has one 2500 meter runway. In 2010, AirBaltic announced that they would open a hub in Oulu, which would mean 10-15 direct destinations from Oulu. The hub was supposed to open in 2013, but the plan was cancelled due to AirBaltic's economical struggles. In 2012, AirBaltic ceased all existing flights to Oulu.
There is one terminal at the airport which has ca. 10 000 m² of spaces for travellers. The airport is small and easily navigated in. The terminal is open whenever there are flights.
The main airlines that operate the airport are Finnair and Norwegian Air Shuttle. The destination and origin of most flights is the Helsinki Airport where all domestic flights operate to. SAS will start route flights to Stockholm-Arlanda in November 2018.
By public transportation
- See also: Oulu#Get around
Oulu is reached easily from the airport by the buses 8 and 9. The bus stop is found on the right when coming from the terminal building. The bus takes you to the city center in about 25-30 minutes, and probably will contain a luggage rack. There is an info display on the bus stop which shows real-time schedule and the location of the bus on a map. Buses operate quite frequently from 06:25 to about 21:00 on weekdays. After 21:00 buses operate infrequently to 01:20. The tickets cost €5.8 for an adult and €2.9 for children aged 7-16. You can either pay by cash to the driver or then by the free Oulu Public Transport app. If buying the ticket from the app, choose zone AB since the airport is on zone B. Please note that journeys starting at night (23:00-04:30) will be charged double. The validity of the ticket is 60 minutes, and inside this time frame one can travel for the same price as much as they find time to.
The airport hotel is located 5km from the airport, so it is the wisest to take a bus. When going to the airport hotel, tell the driver that you're going to the airport hotel (inside zone B) and the driver should charge you €3.3 (/€1.7 for children). The university is in zone A.
When traveling by bus, it is the best to use a smartphone map with live location so you know exactly when to leave the bus. An app called Nysse handles Oulu Public Transport well, but e.g. Moovit and Google maps do the job as well. The buses are yet to be equipped with "Next Stop is..." displays, but they are slowly added to the buses from the beginning of 2019.
When traveling to the city center, the main stop is Toripakka P. The tourist information is right next to Toripakka P. The previously mentioned Airport Hotel can be reached by stopping at Vihiluoto P.
The university can be only reached by bus 8 on weekdays, or you can also change the bus for free in the city center to the lines 1 (Jylkynkangas), 2 (Ritaharju), 3 (Aaltokangas) or 23 (Haukipudas-Ii). If you are going to the university on a weekend, then you must change the bus 9 to one of the previously mentioned lines in the city center. The buses 22 (Haukipudas Asemakylä) and 28 (Ii) also go to the university but you are unlikely to catch one since they operate rather infrequently. If using the buses 22, 23 and 28, be sure to tell your destination to the driver so that they won't overcharge you since the buses' destinations are on different zones. More on the zones in the Oulu article. You can try using English, but the bus driver might not understand. Usually they do, but if they don't, you can use the word "Yliopistolle" (≈"ILL-yo-piss-toll-e") which means "to the university".
Nallikari and the Spa Hotel Eden are reached with bus number 15.
A taxi ride, although more expensive, can be an easier choice of transportation. During daytime on weekdays, a ride from or to the airport is usually about 35€, although big luggage might raise the price. Otaxi operates the taxi from the airport for the most part. You can try to get a bit cheaper ride by using the rideshare app Kyyti.
There are several car rental services at the airport. Some of them are open only on demand so if you're intending to rent a car, be sure to check their opening times on their websites and/or call the services.
If you're leaving your car at the airport, check which parking lot suits your needs the best from the website of the airport.
The terminal is small, and everything can be reached by foot.
There are several charging points in the terminal, both before and after the security check. When you're waiting for your flight, you can also use the free internet connection of the airport. There is also a piano and rocking chairs in the free Hailuoto Lounge.
Eat and drink
Oluthuone Toppila in the gate area offers a large selection beer, cider and other high quality drinks. They also offer the local "kärkkäri" sausage as well as hamburgers and other food.
For lighter snacks, check out Oulu Café in both gate and arrival area.
Oulu Café also sells some local souvenirs, as well as cosmetics and other, normal tax-free stuff. There is also a pharmacy by the café in the gate area.
The airport offers free WiFi connection under the name "Free Wifi for You by Finavia".
The Airport hotel is 5km away, reachable by public transport (buses 8 and 9, zone B). The cheaper Kempeleen Moottorimaja is 9km away, but you have to change the bus in order to get there (8/9→50/52, zone B). Google Maps offers good directions.