Helsinki Airport says it is determined to remain an “attractive international hub” and has announced it is to expand services under one roof.
Operator Finavia has outlined its development programme that will continue until 2020, and plans for increasing transfer traffic capacity will be based on a one-roof concept with all new facilities located in a single building.
Airport director, Ville Haapasaari, explains: “This allows us to keep distances short and services easily accessible and provide a customer-friendly airport experience.
“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 in one terminal.”
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.
Haapasaari continues: “Compared with the other models, the one roof concept is the best option in terms of operational efficiency and customer-friendliness. It is also an ecological solution because a single terminal reduces the need for services such as bus transport.”
In addition to the extension of the terminal, there will be more aircraft stands on the apron and additional de-icing capacity, in which the emphasis will be placed on environmental aspects.
There will also be more parking spots for both wide-bodied and narrow-bodied aircraft, while additional passenger bridges are planned.
Finavia says the extension at Helsinki Airport will take place in three stages, and first it will enlarge the facilities for long-haul passengers and increase the number of spots for wide-bodied aircraft for transit traffic.
Transit capacity will be further increased and the service level for European and domestic flights improved.
Finavia intends to expand Terminal 2 to cover the ground traffic area so that the check-in, security control and baggage drop will all take place in one departure/arrival hall.
Expanding the facilities to the area in front of the terminal, Finavia says will allow it to overhaul commercial services and the existing parking and public transport arrangements.
There will already be improvements in place by next year in train services to the airport, which will start in July 2015, and the content, costs and timetable of the development programme will be specified as the planning progresses.
Haapasaari notes: “The three stages of the development programme will be divided into smaller projects. We will be able to react to changes in the market situation in a flexible manner. The programme will continue until 2020.”
Helsinki Airport is undergoing its largest ever service overhaul with all restaurant and cafes and shops upgraded and the gateway will have 70 new, or refurbished shops and cafes.
The apron will be enlarged so the terminal can be expanded and the capacity of the aircraft stands increased.
Planning work and preparations will take most of the year 2015 to complete, and construction of long-haul facilities and additional spots for wide-bodied aircraft will start in 2016.
Finavia says the main source of growth for Helsinki Airport is transit travel between Asia and Europe and when competing with other international hubs the development will allow it to list short transit times and smooth transit processes as its strengths.
Investments it says ensures it remains a major player in the toughening competition for international transit passengers.
The development programme will cost about €900 million and is expected to increase passenger numbers to 20 million, while generating 5,000 more permanent jobs at the airport.