Finavia colleagues Nora Immonen, Vice President and Director of Commercial Transactions, and Tuomo Lindstedt, Project Manager, explain the projects that have driven development at Helsinki Airport. All aim to increase capacity, remove complexities and ultimately create a smooth Finnish passenger experience.

Most of the projects under Helsinki Airport (WHOLE) The roof of the development program has either been completed or is about to be completed. The hall for new arrivals and departures will be completed by the end of 2021, and renovation work on the existing terminal has also started a year ahead of schedule.

In terms of cost, the renovation of the existing terminal is one of the smallest parts of the program. However, since it is carried out in an actively operated terminal – right next to the passenger routes – it is actually relatively complex.

A step-by-step approach to minimal disruption

In order for the airport to remain fully functional during the renovation work, we have decided to implement the program gradually. This is why we invested so much time in the project compared to the larger components in the program.

We started the development project in 2013 to cope with the rapidly growing number of passengers pouring through the premises. “

We started the development project in 2013 to cope with the rapidly growing number of passengers pouring through the premises. When construction began in 2016, we identified the main cause of the rising demand as the increasing number of transfer passengers from Asia.

In order to meet this increase in demand, we had to expand. The expansion program contains several projects, but the two most important are the increase in transmission capacity for the non-Schengen terminal expansion. and increasing the capacity and space for landside operations and services in the Schengen terminal area.

With two years remaining, the airport development program has had minimal passenger and operational impact, is ahead of schedule, and is on budget. We believe these operational goals are well under control.

The latest milestone in the program

The new parking garage was completed in 2020 and was a great achievement for the project team. The old facility was demolished to make way for the new arrival and departure halls. The construction of the new park took a year and a half in total, and the facility has around 1,800 parking spaces. It is now ready and waiting for passenger demand to rise again.

As each phase of the development program is completed, the customer experience will improve. The airport’s West Pier area – the extension of the non-Schengen terminal – is the most recent example and has been fully used.

As each phase of the development program is completed, the customer experience will improve. “

In the new terminal building, various modes of transport will be made more accessible and there will be a shorter connection to the railroad than before. Getting to and from the airport is also generally easier.

Despite the significant effect that the Coronavirus pandemic In the travel industry, we have done our best to find opportunities wherever we can. Since the passenger traffic was up to 90 percent below the normal volume, we were able to renovate faster and more intensively than would otherwise have been possible, for example.

We are confident that the pandemic will subside and the demand for travel will rise again. If so, Helsinki Airport will be ready to meet that demand with a better passenger experience and new facilities, and the program is expected to be fully completed by 2023.

Working to make traveling even smoother

For passengers, Helsinki Airport is a modern airport where traveling feels simple and straightforward, spacious and well managed. Our strategy has always been to maximize that feeling and the airport development program has supported this and will continue to do so in the future.

For passengers, Helsinki Airport is a modern airport where traveling feels simple and straightforward, spacious and well managed. “

The renovation work to simplify baggage claim at the airport is a good example of how we are making travel smoother for passengers. In the past, there were two recovery halls in Terminal 2 (T2) which created potentially confusing situations. Soon these two recovery halls will be merged into a single hall.

When this merger takes place, the people meeting or greeting passengers won’t have to wonder if they are in the right place. There will only be one place. Baggage claim has suffered from bottlenecks in the past, but will soon be bigger, more fluid and more efficient.

A stronger commercial offer

Finavia has been working for years to build a strong and consistent brand based on customer processes, health and safety measures and suppleness. This work has proven successful, which is reflected in the fact that Helsinki Airport was recently selected as the best European airport in its size class for 2020.

The award is a great achievement for all of us at Helsinki Airport, as we have also achieved it during ongoing renovation work. We would say that Helsinki Airport won this award because it runs efficiently, cleanly and, above all, smoothly. The aim of the development program was and is to make this experience even smoother.

From the customer and employee perspective, the commercial land services of the new T2 will be combined and positioned alongside the flow of customers in order to offer passengers an even easier travel experience.

Finavia has been working for years to build a strong and consistent brand based on customer processes, health and safety measures and suppleness. “

The new landside extension will provide a strong commercial offering for both departing and arriving passengers and employees of the airport community. The expansion will feature new restaurants, cafes and bars, as well as on-the-go dining, as well as a new dining room area with upcoming local street and casual dining options.

In addition to the catering service, there will also be the arrival lounge and the business center (operated by the Plaza Premium Group). Health and beauty services; 24/7 convenience stores; and a bigger and improved supermarket, in addition to all of the services you would normally expect such as rental cars, travel services, seasonal supplies and currency exchange.

In the expanded Schengen Gate area, we will strengthen our offering through increased local and international food and beverage services, increase the visibility and presence of strong Finnish and international retail brands and create interesting and exciting adventure areas based on the theme of Finnish nature and forests.

Inclusion of finnishness in airport design

One of our more aesthetic goals was for the development project to reflect “finnishness”. This can mean a lot of different things, but in this case we wanted to focus on the Finnish nature and incorporate it into the new design. Since wood is important in the Finnish countryside, for example, we will have a wooden ceiling in the new terminal.

Likewise, one of the first things passengers see when entering Finland is a natural element called Luoto, which looks like a rock or a small island, and even this is reflected in the design of the terminal.

Our ultimate vision is that Helsinki Airport will be a fantastic calling card for Finland so that people can take fond memories of Finland with them when they leave. “

The landside extension has a lot of finnishness and a touch of nature, but is also function-oriented and has been optimized for smooth travel and efficiency, which also reflects finnishness. After we have opened the land building at the end of 2021, we will gradually move the land functions into it.

If we take this step, we will create more space there for further Finnish services and experiences. So our ultimate vision is that Helsinki Airport will be a fantastic calling card for Finland so that people can take fond memories of Finland with them when they leave. That would be the greatest achievement of all for us.

Nora Immonen (MSc – Technology) has been Vice President Director Commercial Business at Finavia since 2019. Her most recent roles include: Director of Commercial Real Estate, Construction and Branch at R-kioski Oy / Reitan Group from 2013 to 2018; Director of International Leasing and Shopping Center Development at Citycon Oyj from 2011 to 2013; COO of the Kämp Galleria at the Palace Kämp Group from 2008 to 2011; Account and Development Manager at Elcoteq Oy from 2003 to 2007; and Executive Management Consultant at Talent Partners Oy from 2001 to 2003.

Tuomo Lindstedt FinaviaTuomo Lindstedt (MSc – Technology) is currently Finavia’s project manager, which he has held since 2016. Before that he worked as a project manager (2013 to 2015) and project engineer (2011 to 2012) at Rakennuttajatoimisto HTJ Ltd. active.