“We are taking advantage of the lower traffic volumes caused by the pandemic and renovating areas that are easier to work on now compared to the normal traffic situation. The effect on traffic and the management of aircraft noise will be minor,” says Jani Elasmaa, Finavia’s Vice President responsible for Helsinki Airport’s runway and apron operations.
The renovation work will take the entire summer. During the renovation, work will be carried out on the surfaces of the taxiways and the apron, the aircraft parking stands and the stormwater sewer system. The work will be done in the air traffic area, which means that there will be temporary changes to the use of runways as well as the taxiing and parking of aircraft.
“The renovation work started in the early spring and will continue long into the autumn. The major part of the renovation work will be carried out in two stages during the summer from 31 May to 3 September 2021. The first stage, which will take place in June–July, will have the biggest impact. During this stage, only one runway will be available in the daytime.
How will the renovation work affect air traffic?
During the first stage (31 May–8 August 2021), only one runway will be available in the daytime. Runway 3 (22R/04L) will be used for take-off and landing from 6 a.m. to 12 midnight. During that time, Runway 1 (04R-22L) and Runway 2 (15-33) can only be used for taxiing. All runways will be open for take-off and landing from 12 midnight to 6 a.m.
The second stage will take place from 16 August to 3 September 2021. During this stage, Runway 3 (22R/04L) will be closed for approximately three weeks. Runway 1 (04R-22L) and Runway 2 (15-33) will be used for take-off and landing.
How will noise management change?
“As a result of the pandemic, the number of flights is still significantly lower than usual, which means that the changes in the use of runways will not have as big an impact on noise management as they would normally have,” says Mikko Viinikainen, Finavia’s Vice President of Sustainability & Environment.
In June–July, the aircraft noise situation will be normal in the nighttime. In the daytime, when Runway 3 is the only available runway, there may be more aircraft noise than usual in Kerava and Tuusula.
In August, when Runway 3 is closed, flights will take off from Runway 1 when the wind is blowing from the west or the south. The routes of aircraft that take off during that time will be slightly different over West Vantaa and Espoo. When the wind is blowing from the north or the east, only Runway 1 will be used for landing.
Viinikainen recommends checking Finavia’s WebTrak service, which allows you to monitor Helsinki Airport’s traffic and view detailed information about flights. You can also send us questions using our enquiry form.
Updated May 17th, 2021: Updated the schedule of the renovation.