EFRO - Rovaniemi Airport
Fly and See Santa
All charts and valid NOTAMs can be found from eAIP of Finland by ANS Finland.
Rovaniemi Airport (EFRO/RVN)
Rovaniemi Airport started operations in 1940. Having been destroyed during the war, reconstruction started and operations resumed in 1948. By the early 1980’s, the airport had become home to Lapland Air Command’s Fighter Squadron 11 and the runway extended to its current length. A new terminal building was completed in the year 2000.
The airport’s scheduled traffic consists mostly of domestic flights, but in addition there are a number of charter flights (especially during the winter season), general aviation activity, Border Guard helicopters and naturally lots of military aircraft.
VATSIM name Callsign Frequency Remarks Languages EFRO_ATIS 133.700 EN EFRO_DEL Rovaniemi Delivery 118.525 FI/EN EFRO_TWR Rovaniemi Tower 118.700 Main frequency. Also covers EFRO TMA FI/EN EFRO_APP Rovaniemi Radar 129.900 FI/EN EFRO_R_APP Rovaniemi Arrival 118.600 Final approach FI/EN EFIN_H_CTR Helsinki Control 124.200 Local ACC-sector EN EFIN_D_CTR Helsinki Control 121.300 Covering all ACC sectors if local is offline EN
Please note that EFRO TWR also covers the TMA from 2000ft to FL95, when Radar is offline.
There is only 1 terminal in Rovaniemi. Stands 1-6 have no jetways and stands 7-9 are equipped with jetways. Stands 13-15 and 23 are rarely used in real life but can be used during rush hour.
Please plan your flight via these waypoints:
Departures Arrivals ARFUT ARFUT IBSAN NEMGU NEMGU NEPIX NEPIX MARXO MARXO OSLIT OLNOP RENVI RENVI ROTKO ROTKO
ROI – Rovani VOR (117.700)
RO – ILS LLZ 21 (111.700)
Note: ILS frequency might differ depending on the scenery.
Runway 03 is only capable of RNP and VOR/DME approaches. Runway 21 has ILS with CAT II capability. RNP and VOR/DME approaches are also available for runway 21. Visual approaches can be executed when allowed by the weather and traffic conditions. Runway 03/21 is 3002 meters long and 60 meters wide.
Rovaniemi has its own radar and all IFR traffic is controlled by radar. Please note that
There is one terminal in Rovaniemi which has two jetway stands 7 and 8. Rovanemi also has lots of remote stands to accommodate more than 12 aircraft, so there won’t be a lack of parking space either during the winter season when the charter operations fill the airport with planes. Please note that the northern side is a military apron, and civil traffic generally does not move there.
Operation of Rovaniemi Delivery will be notified in the ATIS broadcast. For clearance, contact Rovaniemi Delivery on 118.525 when DEL is online or to another ATS-station listed above when DEL is offline. VFR aircraft should inform their intensions for flight when requesting taxi. Start-up clearance is not required for piston engined aircraft.
Visual approach can be requested by phraseology: ready for visual or request visual approach.
Fly and See Santa 2020 - EFRO Pilot Briefing
For MSFS users, there is a freeware scenery available, created by Timo Mikkilä. A download link is available in the Scenery box in the top right hand corner of the page.
There is a great freeware version of the airport created by Tatu Kantomaa.
Please read the readme file carefully.
Free scenery for Rovaniemi (EFRO) by Tatu Kantomaa. Note: If the download doesn't start, click in the URL field and hit the enter key on your keyboard. Refreshing the page will not work.
For FS9 users there's a photorealistic scenery available. It is developed by FISD and in order for it to work you first need to download the following files:
If you already have an FISD scenery installed you can go straight to downloading the Rovaniemi scenery here: Rovaniemi scenery.
There is a great free scenery made by Fly X. Check it out over at x-plane.org forums
Also for X-Plane users there is a payware scenery made by DAI media.
Please check the routing for your flight to Rovaniemi on Routes page of this website. All arrivals must use the standard routings available from the route generator. This is to ensure the best service and flow for all pilots as the ATC. Waypoints NEMGU and NEPIX are the main entry points to the TMA. Be aware that some of the flights routed via NEMGU may be rerouted by ATC to enter the TMA via NEPIX. This is to make the arrival stream even on both waypoints and should make the event smoother for everyone.
Also remember to take some extra fuel with you. In the virtual word, fuel costs nothing and most likely you will have to hold at one point. Better be safe than sorry when it comes to fueling your aircraft for this event.
Additional arrival airports
Once again, we are expecting more traffic than ever, and movements will likely continue into early Sunday morning. With the single runway available at Rovaniemi, holding times are measured in hours instead of minutes. Despite the increase in traffic, we want to strive for an enjoyable and fun Santa event for everyone. Therefore, we remind you of the following:
1. Aircraft inbound to Rovaniemi may, at any time, elect to change their arrival airport to Kittilä (EFKT) or Oulu (EFOU) in Northern Finland. At least one of these airports will be staffed.
o This enables you to avoid further enroute holding and expedite your landing significantly
o Should you not wish to change your arrival, you will continue in the holds as per normal
2. If at any time you wish to arrive at another arrival airport instead of EFRO, please inform ATC and you will be given a clearance for this.
3. At some time of the night, which will be announced during the event, ATC will close at Rovaniemi and Finland. After this there is no guaranteed ATC for your arrival into EFRO. ATC will be online for a significant amount of time after the official end time of the event as usual, however.
In the likely event of high traffic, holdings will most likely be used to stream the traffic. There are only few enroute holds published, and none of them are very useful for traffic to Rovaniemi.
If you are instructed for an enroute holding, please pay very close attention to the holding details given to you, and if in doubt ask!
In case you do not have time to hold (or do not have the fuel to do so), please inform ATC so we can send you to another airport with less traffic.
If instructed to descend in a hold, be very careful with your cleared level, as there will most likely be traffic both 1000 feet above and below.
Holding at NEPIX or NEMGU
The holding over NEPIX and NEMGU is your last step before getting in touch with approach controller who will guide you for your approach into Rovaniemi. As these holds will be the busiest holds during the event, but are not published on any charts, it’s good to take a closer look on these so everyone flies the same procedure.
Remember that you must hold only when you are told to do so by ATC OR you do not have your STAR clearance yet inbound Rovaniemi TMA. If you have an inbound clearance (STAR) and ATC does not tell you to hold anywhere but directs you to contact Rovaniemi Radar, you can continue through these holds.
- NEMGU holding: inbound course 054˚, left hand turns, 1.5 minute legs (controlled by Helsinki Control sector Y on 131.600)
- NEPIX holding: inbound 006˚, right hand turns, 1.5 minute legs (controlled by Helsinki Control sector Z on 131.650)
As the frequencies are similar, make sure you switch to the correct feeder sector frequency in order to avoid confusion.
Expect clearance into Rovaniemi via STAR for the active runway. If coming from Sweden via NEMGU you can expect a STAR from NEMGU to Rovaniemi. If coming from the South, you can expect a STAR from NEPIX to Rovaniemi. The STARs into Rovaniemi require RNAV equipment, if you are not able to fly an RNAV STAR please inform ATC.
Initial approach will be done with STAR, but ATC may start vectoring you off the STAR at any time to merge the arrival streams most effectively.
Please pay attention to vectoring instructions and speed control as the spacing will be as tight as possible. If instructed to "leave" a point on a certain heading, make sure you do not start turning at present position since there might be other streams of traffic in the way.
When ordered to contact Rovaniemi Radar (EFRO APP) on 129.900, state your altitude, aircraft type and ATIS information letter.
To avoid frequency congestion, when changing to Rovaniemi Arrival state “ROVANIEMI ARRIVAL” + CALLSIGN only. “Rovaniemi Arrival, XMS1”
Arrival will clear all RNAV capable aircraft to ILS Z approach and all non-RNAV aircraft to ILS Y approach. The only difference between these two approach types is the go around procedure. More information in the go-around section. If runway 03 is in use, then RNAV capable aircraft can expect RNP approach runway 03 and non-RNAV aircraft VOR/DME approach runway 03.
When landing on runway 21, do not vacate via H or earlier, as there may be departing traffic taxiing out on T. Vacate via B or A. The most efficient usage of runway 21 is when aircraft vacate via B, so all pilots are encouraged to plan their deceleration in a way which allows exit via B.
The ILS frequency for runway 21 has changed! Default sceneries for both FSX and FS9 still use the old ILS frequency of 109.10.
The new frequency is 111.70. Most of the addon sceneries should have this frequency in use. It is also published in the current approach charts.
ILS Z 21: Fly hdg 206° to ROPOV climb 2500ft. Hold at ROPOV as published unless otherwise instructed.
ILS Y 21: Fly radial R203 ROI to GOSOV (7 DME from ROI), climb to 2500ft and hold as published unless otherwise instructed.
RNP 03: Fly hdg 026° to RO364 and then to VEKIP, climb 2500ft. Hold at VEKIP as published unless otherwise instructed.
VOR 03: Fly radial R010 ROI to ABLAD (6DME from ROI), climb to 2500ft and hold as published unless otherwise instructed.
The west side of the airport is military. The civilian apron is on the east side of the runway. There are 13 stands available. There might be minor scenery displacements but stands 2-9 should be in almost the same location for all sceneries. If required parking can also take place on taxiway S.
Once you park your aircraft, please disconnect from the network to give room for the other aircrafts. If you want to stay to watch the traffic you can connect back as an observer (option on vPilot).
Departures are advised that routings via NEMGU and NEPIX are not allowed since those points are used for arriving traffic. If you are departing, please plan your route via an alternate waypoint.
Departure clearance will contain a standard clearance depending on runway and direction of flight.
You can expect clearance via radar heading and initial climb of 4000 feet, but as always pay attention since ATC may need to modify this to suit the traffic situation. Some of the OLNOP departures may also receive RNAV SID for their departure.
Please be careful when pushing back and taxiing, there will most likely be inbound traffic on the taxiways.
ATC will do their best to make gaps for departures as well but as there is just one runway and many arrivals on several holds inbound Rovaniemi there might be a slight delay on your departure. Some extra taxi fuel might be required due to this.
When receiving take-off clearance please be as quick as possible as inbound spacing is tight, and if you miss your gap a new one must be made for you which will take a long time. ATC plans to see aircraft movement almost immediately after take-off clearance is given.
Once airborne switch immediately to Radar on 129.9 (frequency given in clearance), tower will not give a handoff once you are airborne.
Also remember the initial climb is 4000 feet! Rovaniemi Radar and Arrival may clear aircraft to 5000ft which will then fly directly above the departure flight path, so it’s very important that you maintain 4000ft until Rovaniemi Radar clears you higher.
VFR / Slow traffic
Unfortunately, we are not able to handle VFR traffic during the event and therefore we ask you not to file any VFR plans to/from Rovaniemi on the day of the event. If you wish to fly VFR in Finland on the event day we recommend using, for example, Oulu Airport (EFOU) which we will try to staff. Oulu is located about 160 km south of Rovaniemi.
During the event the runway will be used at maximum operations rate. It is therefore required you select an aircraft which can maintain at least ~240 knots below FL100 and 150-160 knots until 4 miles from touchdown. Otherwise we will not be able to fit you into the profiles of faster arrivals, and it is not possible to create additional spacing for a slower arrival.
Thank you for taking the time to read this briefing for Fly and See Santa. We hope you once again have a great event and remember to have fun, as that is what this event is all about!
See you in Rovaniemi!
Finnish ATC team
Director of Helsinki FIR – Joonatan Porkkala