Although Nurminen now has a pilot’s licence, the thing that he finds most exciting about his work is still planning new project models and putting them into practice.
“When my children asked me what I do at work, I told them that I talk. My work as the Project Director of the Helsinki Airport Development Programme largely involves discussing and communicating matters. In practice, my job is to take the programme’s decisions and measures forward at the top level and to support the programme’s project managers in their work so that everything runs as optimally as possible.
In addition to the development programme, I lead the entire Finavia project office, where we develop project activities and prioritise and report on the progress of projects in the entire Finavia project portfolio.
I have worked at Finavia continuously since 2006. I started as a Project Manager. I had already worked on a wide range of construction and development projects before the idea of the Helsinki Airport Development Programme was presented to me in 2013.
With the development programme, the scope of my work has broadened. Today, my work involves much more than just leading construction projects. In programme management, the business benefit indicators of the programme are monitored and compared to the programme’s goals.
When we set out to prepare the programme, no one had experience of such a massive project. Particularly in retrospect, I find that I have learned a great deal about leadership and the importance of communications along the way.
No one can implement a large programme like this on their own. The development programme has been a collective effort by the whole of Finavia, and one can only be proud of the people who made it happen.
We managed to build a very good project office, whose professionals have a wide range of expertise. In addition, we had strong support from management and line organisations, including in problem situations. Our expertise was also trusted when there were miscalculations that are unavoidable in a project of this size.
Right now, we are about to complete the programme. Of all the 25 projects, only one – the overhaul of Helsinki Airport’s old departure hall – is underway. This project, too, is in the final stretch.
The construction of that departures hall was actually also the first project I did for Finavia – although at that time I was still working as a Project Manager for an external construction consulting firm. Before that, I did my engineering final project for Finavia in 1997.
In my work, I am most excited about developing new things related to project implementation and putting them into practice. I like working on the early stages of projects. In the development programme as well, my contribution was the most substantial in the preparatory work for various projects.
At Finavia, projects are carried out in the middle of an operating airport, which makes them complex and wide-ranging. This is the thing that makes my work so interesting.
Despite my long career at the airport, I didn’t have any particular experience of aviation. I did my engineering final project on the wood joints of the pillars of Helsinki Airport’s VIP terminal and their structural calculations.
However, I eventually took up flying as a hobby. I got a pilot’s licence in 2018, and nowadays I’m into gliding.”