Finnish airport operator Finavia has officially opened its new 33,400m² (360,000ft²) extension at Helsinki Airport, nicknamed Aukio.
The key feature of the new extension is the event plaza where a digital spatial experience immerses passengers and enables them to experience all four seasons of the great Finnish outdoors.
Joni Sundelin, Helsinki Airport director, Finavia, said, “Aukio can rightfully be described as a display window for our country, as millions of international passengers get their first taste of Finland at the airport. Our focus throughout development has been on ensuring that passengers are left with an exceptionally positive impression of Finnish design, smoothness, nature and peace.”
Heikki Koski, Chief Digital Officer at Finavia, said, “Locations where the event plaza’s 360° landscapes were filmed include Koli, Olos, Luosto, Yövesi in Saimaa and the Kalevankangas nature reserve in Mikkeli.
“Passengers get to witness the breathtaking Aurora Borealis, vibrant autumn colors, a rippling stream and the whistling wind. The central element of the forest-inspired plaza is an LED screen that is 75m (246ft) in width and 2m (6.6ft) in height. This combination of special technologies is unique on a global scale.”
As part of the extension, Finavia has also introduced new modern security controls including an automated smart lane x-ray line, full body scanners and the remote reading of x-ray images.
“We included security officers in the design process and made improvements to the ergonomics and equipment of the lines based on their feedback,” added Koski.
Finavia has also upgraded its food and beverage (F&B) and retail offering with a total of 11 new additions based in the extension. This includes Japanese fast-food restaurant Ajisen Ramen and international toy store Toyland. Passengers will also have access to an independent passenger lounge operated by Hong Kong-based hospitality firm Plaza Premium Lounge.
Aukio is a part of Finavia’s €1bn (US$1.1bn) development program which will enable Helsinki Airport to serve 30 million passengers annually by 2022.