The new terminal extension at Helsinki Airport was opened to passengers in December 2021. The implementation is divided into three phases. The first phase took place in December 2021, when the new arrivals hall and parking hall P1/P2 were opened. The second phase was completed at the end of May, when the new check-in hall and its modern security control were put into service.
From 21 June, all passengers at Helsinki Airport will arrive and depart via one terminal. Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 will become a thing of the past.
– Arriving at and departing from the airport will be clearer for the passengers than before. The train station has direct elevator access to the terminal, and the bus and taxi stations are located in front of the front doors and have been considerably expanded. The new parking garage also offers direct access to the terminal by elevator, says Timo Järvelä, Finavia’s Vice President of Passenger Experience and Processes at Helsinki Airport.
In its entirety, the terminal extension will be complete by summer 2023. In the third phase, a completely renewed baggage claim hall will become available.
Implementation is a long process
Planning for the implementation of the terminal extension started in early 2020. Progress has been regularly monitored in cooperation with various experts and stakeholders. In order to ensure a good passenger experience, training was organised for all of the companies that operate at Helsinki Airport and their employees about the new facilities at the airport.
– It’s our common goal to be able to serve passengers outside of our own area of expertise, says Järvelä.
The airport has been operational throughout the development programme. The construction and implementation operations of the terminal have been carried side by side with operational air traffic. This is why the facilities have been opened in phases.
– The project has been designed so that normal airport operations can continue as smoothly as possible, says Finavia’s ORAT Project Manager at Helsinki Airport, Jenni Koskinen.
Plenty of new services for arriving passengers
The restaurant and store offerings at Helsinki Airport are now several times larger than before. For example, in May, a new restaurant world was opened in the arrivals hall, with flavours from around the world at six different restaurants.
– Compared to many European airports, these services are on a different level, says Järvelä.
Good preparations ensured the smooth running of the project
The large-scale implementation has proceeded on time and without any problems. The processes were precisely defined in advance and tested.
– The facilities, equipment and services for passenger traffic can only be opened after they have been found to be functional and safe, Koskinen says.
Customer satisfaction is regularly monitored. Although passenger routes and processes have been constantly changing for over a year, the feedback has been positive.
– The passengers have been very understanding with the inconveniences caused by construction work. We have actively communicated to them what we are doing and why. If we can stand this together just a little longer, well, all’s well that ends well, says Järvelä.