Helsinki Airport To Become One Great Gate Airport Under Just One Roof
Helsinki Airport is the main international airport of the whole of Finland. Originally built for the 1952 Summer Olympics in Helsinki, the airport served over 15 million passengers in 2013, and it’s the fourth largest airport in the Nordic countries. Helsinki is by far the busiest airport in Finland and operated by Finavia, the state-owned enterprise that operates all of Finland’s Airports.
In the latest announcement hosted by Finavia, Helsinki Airport has drawn up ambitious plans for growth by 2020, aiming to accommodate 20 million passengers by the year of perfect vision. The announcement also outlined a number of unique passenger experience enhancements, using technology to simplify the travel experience, and building under the existing roof.
“This allow us to keep distances short and services easily accessible and provide a customer-friendly airport experience,” said Ville Haapasaari, Airport Director.
According to Haapasaari, Finavia has been studying dozens of different scenarios for many years, while the views and suggestions of airport users, such as airlines and other operators have also been considered during the planning process.
Finavia says it selected a model to expand the existing terminal instead of building a separate satellite terminal, which was also an option at one point. “This concept makes it easier to boost the number of transit passengers. Transferring from one gate to another will be easy and quick as it can be done on one terminal. It’s also an ecological solution because a single terminal reduces the need for services such as bus transport,” said Haapasaari.
Going along with the extension of the terminal will have more aircrafts on the airport apron and additional de-icing capacity, in which the emphasis will be placed on environmental aspects. Moreover, there will be the need for more parking spots for both wide-bodied and narrow-bodied aircraft, while additional passenger bridges are planned.
Finavia plans the extension at Helsinki Airport will take place in three stages, and the first one will aim to enlarge the facilities for long-haul passengers and increase the number of spots for wide-bodied aircraft for transit traffic. “The three stages of the development program will be divided into smaller projects. We will be able to react to changes in the market situation in a flexible manner. The program will continue until 2020,” Haapasaari added.
The development programme will cost about €900 million (about $1.14 billion) and is expected to increase passenger numbers to 20 million while generating 5,000 more permanent jobs at the airport. Passengers travelling through Helsinki will not have to wait for 2020 for free unlimited High-Speed Wi-Fi, automated border control terminals, or to do their grocery shopping at the terminal before heading home. All those features and a skateboarding invitational have already been introduced at the airport this year.
Is the Finavia’s plan to extend the airport under just one roof possible? Share your comments with us.