Before the first section of Helsinki Airport's terminal addition, the south pier, was taken into use around 200 volunteers took up the task to test the functionality and verify that everything is working as it should. How did it go?
On Thursday 6.7.2017 Helsinki Airport's brand new south pier was opened for volunteers who spent the day testing the new facilities, services and processes.
Yellow reflective vest wearers marched decidedly towards the Helsinki Airport brand-new south pier. Not a single passenger or guest had stepped foot in the addition before this testgroup. The air was full of anticipation: what’s waiting around the corner?
Amongst the test-traveller group was Reija Hassinen who had decided to take part due to a fear of flying. She was joined by her son and his friend.
— I’ve always been nervous of flying and for that reason I’ve sought out situations where I can learn to be calm in the airport environment. Of course, it is also interesting to come see the new south pier as one of the very first groups, Hassinen told.
A boarding called echoes on the speaker system. Airport officials checked tickets and guided travellers to the two-storey passenger bridge. This time the test passengers didn't make it into the air, but they awaited a spin in Finnair’s new plane as well as a bus ride around the apron area.
Over the day, there were many questions about the location of the much-hyped walkalator. The answer came soon enough around the bend. Located on the south pier’s upper floor, is the moving sidewalk, which test travellers couldn’t help but try even with the delicious smell of lunch nearby.
Aviation enthusiasts, the Hurskainen family, had arrived at Helsinki Airport to celebrate the father’s birthday. The most memorable thing for the family’s girls, Anni and Emilia, was to be up close and personal with planes. Mother, Mari Hurskainen, particularly enjoyed the unique experiences behind the scenes.
— It was fun to test out and rate the new south pier, but most of all, it was great to get to see the airport and machines in places that are out of public reach, Hurskainen explained.
The day ended with feedback carefully collected from the simulation. Based on the feedback the south pier and even the whole airport can be made even better.
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