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Helsinki Airport's runway 2 renovated in summer 2017

Press release
Article published
12.4.2017 at 06:00
Finavia is renovating Helsinki Airport’s runway 15-33, or runway 2, over 5 June–25 September 2017. The renovation is not expected to affect the flow or air traffic. However, there will be an effect on aircraft routes in the Helsinki area, especially in the Järvenpää, Tuusula and Kerava directions.

The renovation will close Helsinki Airport’s runway 2 for three months. During this project, the southern section of runway 2, beginning at the intersection of runways 1 and 2, will be renovated.

- The renovation will allows us to extend the usage of the renovated section by 14 years. Of course, the main reason is to ensure first-class, safe air traffic, says Finavia’s vice president for Helsinki Airport, Heini Noronen-Juhola.

During the renovation, Finavia will re-pave the runway and overhaul its rainwater drainage and lighting. Additionally, the runway’s southern section’s pavement will be replaced.

It is expected that air traffic will run as usual over the summer season.

- We are currently looking into whether the entire airport lighting system could be replaced with LED technology. At the very least, we are making that change possible now and overhauling the existing lights, says Noronen-Juhola.

Runway 2 was last re-paved in 2004. The intersection of runways 1 and 2 were renovated in 2015 during the runway 1 renovation project.

- The current renovation is significantly smaller in scope compared to the previous runway 1 renovation, in amount of work, investment and operational effect, says Noronen-Juhola.

The investment scope of the runway 2 renovation is EUR 11 million. The northern section of the runway will be renovated by 2019.

No effect on air traffic capacity

Despite the airport having only two of its three runways in use over the summer, it is expected that normal air traffic will run as usual over the summer season.

In normal conditions, the renovation will have no effect on air traffic. The only exception should be tough weather conditions, such as storm fronts or strong south-easterly or north-westerly winds, which will require the use of another runway compared to the normal situation.

"We are looking into whether the entire lighting system could be replaced with LED technology."

- We are prepared for these situations and believe that the effects of this renovation on next summer’s air traffic will be minimal, says Noronen-Juhola.

Video: Runway 1 renovation at Helsinki Airport in summer 2015

Changes to aircraft noise

There will, however, be changes to the direction of aircraft noise.

As the primary landing runway, runway 2 is closed, runways 1 (22L) and 3 (22R) will be only used for landing from the direction of Kerava during westerly and south-westerly winds.

In the afternoon and evening rushes, runways 1 and 3 will both be in use for landings. 

Due to these changes, the Järvenpää, Tuusula and Kerava areas will be affected by increased aircraft noise. There will be less noise in the Nurmijärvi direction.

There are no expected changes to aircraft noise in the Espoo and West Vantaa areas.

Helsinki Airport is developing further

Finavia is investing heavily into developing Helsinki Airport. The ongoing development programme, which is worth EUR 900 million and lasts until 2020, will see the airport expand and grow its capacity.

The first expansion of the airport, the so-called South Wing, will be opened for passengers late in the summer of 2017. The expansion will also provide the airport with more wide-body aircraft stands, new services and increased luggage handling capacity.

It is estimated that this expansion will be complete by 2020. The passenger volume of the airport is estimated to increase to 20 million at that time.

Timeline: Helsinki Airport development programme