In summer 2023, the focus of renovation was on resurfacing the northern end of runway 2 (15/33), i.e. the transverse runway. Stormwater sewers and the electrical systems underneath the runway were renovated at the same time. With the development of the stormwater sewers, any water on the runway can be diverted more efficiently, which will make the runway dry faster and improve its usability. The investment amounted to EUR 9.3 million.
“We have completed the runway renovation for this summer as planned, and all three runways will be in normal use starting from mid-September,” says Finavia’s Vice President Jani Elasmaa, who is responsible for the apron and runway operations at Helsinki Airport.
During the renovation, runway 2 has not been used for landing. Therefore, in May-September, landing volumes from the direction of Nurmijärvi were lower than normal and, at the same time, landings from the direction of northeast Vantaa and Kerava were more frequent than usual at Helsinki Airport. Propeller aircraft have taken off from runway 2 in the direction of Tikkurila as usual.
The renovation of runway 2 has not had an impact on the flow of passenger traffic at Helsinki Airport, as there have been two other runways in use.
“The renovation of the northern end of Runway 2 will make directing stormwaters containing anti-skid and deicing agents to a nearby biofiltration area more efficient. The area is located right by the runways to balance the flow and quality of the stormwaters before leading them to the outlets,” Jani Elasmaa says.
- Helsinki Airport’s first runway was completed for the Helsinki Summer Olympics in 1952. The clearing and excavation work on the second runway began in 1953, and the runway was completed in 1956 with a length of 1,800 metres. Today, the runway completed in 1956 is called runway 2.
- Both runways have been later extended to give large and heavy aircraft the space they need for acceleration and braking. Runway 2 reached its current length of 2,900 metres in 1973.
- Nowadays, there are three runways at Helsinki Airport. The newest is runway 3 with a length of 3,000 metres, completed in 2002.
- Airport runways are named after compass bearings, which is why runway 2 is also called runway 15/33. This is a worldwide practice.
- The compass bearing of Helsinki Airport’s runway 2 is about 150 degrees, which means that one of its identification numbers is 15. Because the runway can be used in both directions, the other bearing is 180 degrees larger. This means that runway 2’s other identification number is calculated as 15 + 18 = 33. The numbering of Helsinki Airport’s runway 2 is a combination of both numbers, i.e. 15/33.