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Helsinki Airport’s new central square Aukio will open soon – but first, it’s time for test passengers to give their feedback

Press release
Article published
14.1.2019 at 13:09
One of the most impressive new spaces of Helsinki Airport will open its doors in February. Aukio will be the heart of the long-haul expansion area, through which departing passengers will go to their flights and where arriving passengers will get their first impressions of Finland. Before the deployment, Finavia will continue its long tradition of developing the airport together with its passengers by inviting 200 volunteers to test out the new facilities and services.

“During the test day, participants will get a unique chance to see the new facilities of Helsinki Airport before others. We will test the functionality of services and passenger journeys, and especially the state-of-the-art security check with a full body scanner – the first of its kind in Finland,” says Joni Sundelin, Director of Helsinki Airport.

Finavia is looking for passengers under different profiles: people who travel often or for the first time; with children; or, passenger with reduced mobility. The test day will be organised on February 6.

During the test day, participants will get to experience the airport’s apron area, where access for the public is usually limited. The participants will also be invited for lunch at the brand new Ajisen Ramen restaurant, originating from Kumamoto in Japan.

Customer experience and user-centred design are at the heart of the Helsinki Airport Development Programme

The opening of Aukio is part of Finavia’s ongoing Development Programme at Helsinki Airport, which will expand the airport and increase its capacity. The largest expansion project to date will continue until the early 2020s.

The test day is an important part of putting the newest facilities to use. The participants will provide important feedback that will help Finavia to continue to offer a smooth travel experience.

In 2017, we opened the South Pier extension as part of the Development Programme and offered volunteers a chance to test it out beforehand. The test day was a great success,” Sundelin says.

It is important for Finavia that the companies and staff at Helsinki Airport are also part of the developing work. In this, Finavia uses a user-driven virtual model.

“With the virtual model, we can engage important stakeholders in the planning even better. In this way, they will be more committed to our future and understand the changes that the expansion will bring about. Helsinki Airport is one of the first airport operators in the world to use 3D modelling on such a large scale.” says Sundelin.

The new central square Aukio

Aukio will be an architecturally impressive space. Decorated with Finnish wood, its rugged wall and ceiling structures will set a striking backdrop for many kinds of events and phenomena. Aukio is part of Helsinki Airport’s long-haul area expansion, designed by PES-Architects.

Various facilities, such as modern security control, shops, restaurants and new services that provide passengers with a special experience will be located around Aukio. It will add 25,000 square metres of new passenger and baggage facilities to the airport as well as a connection to the South Pier for arriving passengers.

Aukio is the most recently completed phase of the Development Programme, with which Finavia will strengthen Helsinki Airport’s position as the leading long-haul airport in Northern Europe and a popular transit airport as well as prepare to serve 30 million annual passengers.

“We will do our utmost to keep the customer experience high during ongoing expansions. We are determined to maintain our competitive advantages such as short distances, easy access to services and a world-class standard of service even as the number of passengers continues to rise,” Sundelin says.


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