Finavia is making excellent progress with the Helsinki Airport development programme, with the first phase of the expansion due to launch to passengers on Wednesday, 1 June.
The new seating area and departure gates at Helsinki Airport are designed for passengers waiting for bus transfers to connect them with a non-Schengen area flight. The first flight from the new bus gates is due to depart on Wednesday afternoon for London.
The new facilities have been designed with passenger comfort and relaxation in mind. The gate area will feature elements inspired by Finland’s nature and the country’s beautiful archipelago. Wood has been used extensively throughout to create a maritime feel, and the decor reflects the rugged beauty of Finland’s rocky shorelines.
“We have sought to introduce an island feel to the space by introducing large wood and natural rock features. Instead of the usual airport seating, we are offering travellers a choice of wooden benches,” Ville Haapasaari, Airport Director and SVP of Finavia, explained.
The new facilities will provide additional capacity for around 1,000 passengers and 12 apron buses. The new building has a floor area of approximately 3,000 square metres.
New sustainable café in gate area
The Fair Taste café specialises in sustainably produced food and beverages. The menu features a range of healthy dishes made using clean and fresh ingredients to suit all appetites from snacks to entire meals.
According to Haapasaari, the Fair Taste café’s sustainable offering is also a strategic choice for Finavia. Together with the HMSHost restaurant service provider, Finavia wishes to promote a healthier environment and better living conditions for all.
Extended transfer capacity
Expanded security control services at Helsinki Airport were launched in May. In future, passengers arriving from outside the EU and continuing on an onward flight to a non-EU destination will be able to use two additional security check points. Finavia has increased both the number of automated passport control kiosks and manned border control booths.
“These works are designed to increase capacity at Helsinki Airport and to allow travellers to enjoy a smooth and swift transfer experience as our passengers volumes grow and before the new terminal facilities and airport infrastructure is complete,” Haapasaari says.
According to Haapasaari, with the rising passenger numbers, new luggage facilities are also required. Finavia is extending the existing luggage centre to generate additional capacity before the new luggage system is adopted. The new facilities are due to be launched in August.
Towards year 2020
The new bus gates and additional capacity form part of Finavia’s development programme that will see Helsinki Airport’s passenger facilities expanded, services enhanced and infrastructure improved.
The intention is to consolidate Helsinki Airport’s competitive position as a transfer traffic provider for travel between Asia and Europe, and to maintain excellent flight connections between Finland and the rest of the world. Helsinki-Vantaa is preparing to serve 20 million passengers by the early 2020s.
“Today’s air travellers expect a smooth travelling experience, fast transfer times, first rate services and that something little bit extra on top. These are the factors that determine how we fare amidst very stiff competition and they are what we need to focus on. Every third passenger chooses their flight route based on the transfer airport they will visit,” Haapasaari said.