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Runway 3 at Helsinki Airport to be closed for renovation work from 15 April to 12 June

Press release
Article published
25.3.2024 at 08:28
Lähikuva kiitotiestä, jonka päässä näkyy taivas.
On 15 April 2024, Finavia will start the renovation of Helsinki Airport's runway 3 and its taxiways in accordance with its maintenance plan. The renovation of runway 3 will continue until 12 June and, during this time, aircraft will take off and land in different directions from usual.

"The structures of the runway have to be first-class due to the enormous load the runway is subjected to. Regular renovations and inspections ensure safe and punctual air traffic,” says Finavia’s Vice President Jani Elasmaa , who is responsible for Helsinki Airport’s apron and runway operations.

The renovation of Helsinki Airport's runway 3 will start on 15 April and end on 12 June 2024. The renovation includes surface repairs of taxiways leading to the runway and other renovation work done during the runway closure, in particular for lighting systems.

"In April, the repair work will begin with the closure of runway 3 and the dismantling of the lights in the areas where repairs will be carried out. Then the earthworks and asphalting work will begin on the taxiways and parts of the runway. Finally, we will install lights and perform runway maintenance."

Aircraft take-off and landing directions affected by the renovation of runway 3

During the renovation work, it will not be possible to land on runway 3, which means that aircraft landing directions will be different from normal. Landings will be primarily made on runway 2 (15/33) from the northwest and runway 1 (22L) from the northeast.

Departing flights will primarily take off from runway 1 to the southwest, using either the flight paths published for low-noise aircraft or directions provided by air traffic control. Departing flights will be directed in the same directions as usual when they depart from runway 3. If necessary, low-noise jet aircraft can also use runway 2 to take-off in the southerly direction.

The renovation work on runway 3 will have no effect on the smoothness of travel at Helsinki Airport.

"The Helsinki Airport’s other two runways will be in use throughout the renovation and will ensure sufficient flight capacity. The renovation of runway 3 is an important part of the lifecycle management of Helsinki Airport’s infrastructure, and we are taking all steps to complete the work by mid-June," says Vice President Jani Elasmaa.

Fact box: Helsinki Airport's runways

  • 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 were 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 more. 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.