The Helsinki Airport development programme, which is worth EUR 900 million, is progressing in phases. The phase that will begin in early January will increase the area of the airport and improve the functionality of the part of the terminal serving long-distance and transit traffic.
During the development programme, Finavia will produce completely new services while integrating digitalisation in the renewed customer experience.
“Even though the most visible part of the investment is the development of infrastructure, our success as a world-class airport is based on customer experience,” explains airport director Ville Haapasaari.
According to Haapasaari, Finavia also aims to provide more flexibility and efficiency to carriers. There will be increased capacity for parking airplanes, and the planes’ turnaround times can be shortened.
Construction work may cause inconvenience
“We will do our best to avoid causing inconvenience to passengers and carriers during the construction. However, the work may result in some discomfort and lack of space,” Haapasaari states.
Flight traffic will increase while the construction work is taking place. Bus transportation from the terminal to the planes and back will become more common. In the summer of 2016, the level of service will improve, as the capacity of the buses for flights outside the Schengen area increases.
Improving the airport infrastructure
Once the south wing is completed in summer 2017, the area of the terminal will increase by a total of 7,850 square metres. There will be two floors: one for the arriving passengers, the other for the departures.
According to Haapasaari, the airport will see its first, long-awaited moving walkways.
The area for moving and parking airplanes, also known as the apron, is a significant target for the investment in the phase beginning in January. The area of the apron to be renovated covers a total of 157,000 square metres.
Four outside parking spaces will be constructed for wide-body aircraft, and three passenger boarding bridges will be installed by the terminal. The new bridges will be built as double bridges.
The boarding will happen simultaneously through two passages, with one leading to the front of the plane and one to the middle. This will make boarding and disembarking the plane significantly faster. In addition, it will improve the level of the service offered to the customers.
After the southern section of the terminal is complete, it will be time to start working on the west wing. The western section is due to be completed in summer 2020.
According to Haapasaari, strengthening the position of Helsinki Airport in the flight traffic between Europe and Asia is a priority.
“An internationally competitive airport is important for the well-being of Finland as a whole. It helps the country maintain good flight connections for Finns to all destinations around the world, and it will create thousands of new jobs.”
Helsinki Airport development programme in numbers
- The area of the terminal expansion in 2020 = the area of the entire Linnanmäki amusement park (75,000 m2)
- The total area of the terminal in 2020 = 10 times the Finnish Parliament house (approx. 250,000 m2)
- Number of bridges for wide-body aircraft in 2020: 16
- Apron construction sites = 65 football fields (330,000 m2)
- Total airport area = the entire city of Helsinki (1800 ha)
- Development programme’s impact on employment: 14,000 person-years
- Number of permanent jobs created: approx. 5,000
- Number of passengers in 2020 = 20 million