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Three-year renovation of Helsinki Airport apron nears completion – The EUR 32 million contract by Finavia will make the airport greener

Press release
Article published
29.12.2020 at 09:21
Lentokoneita asematasolla.
The massive renovation of Helsinki Airport apron that was started by airport operator Finavia three years ago will be completed at the end of December.

The renovation covered renewing the aircraft parking facilities, improving the taxiways and increasing the de-icing capacity. Improving energy efficiency was a central goal of the contract.

The aims of the renovation were to ensure safe taxiing and parking as well as to increase air traffic capacity and improve efficiency. The environmental impacts of air traffic will decrease further, thanks to the renewed infrastructure of the apron.

As part of the taxiway renovation, Finavia replaced about 500 centre line and stop lights with LED technology. Half of the 14,000 lighting fixtures in the manoeuvring area of carbon neutral Helsinki Airport area are now energy-efficient.

“The scale of the renovation is massive, and it will help Finavia to achieve the zero-emissions target set in its climate programme. Helsinki Airport has been carbon neutral since 2017, and now we have turned our gaze towards the future,” says Henri Hansson, Technical Director at Finavia.

In 2019, all Finavia airports became carbon neutral. The company’s next target is to achieve net-zero emissions by 2030, meaning zero carbon emissions from airports before compensation measures.

Investment in the protection of waterways

The construction site covers an area the size of 17 football fields, and the renovation started in April 2018. The work was done over three summers to minimise effects on air traffic.

“It costs around one million euros to build one parking stand. We modernised 13 aircraft stands as part of the renovation of apron 1,” Hansson says.

The higher capacity achieved through the apron renovation will make air traffic more efficient in the winter. Taxiing became more efficient and one of the taxiways is now suitable for wide-body aircrafts.

Some of the parking stands were equipped with sturdy protective structures that enable aircraft anti-icing and de-icing. The stands were provided with drains to ensure that no glycol is released to soil. The investment helps to reduce Helsinki Airport’s emissions to waterways.

“We can serve airlines and passengers smoother and more environmentally-friendly than before thanks to the new apron. When the world re-opens after the COVID-19 pandemic, we are ready,” Hansson says.

Read more how Finavia develops its airports.