Bernie Baldwin

“Even with the building work going on, we have kept up our passenger service standards, according to ACI’s Airport Service Quality (ASQ) benchmarking programme. A good passenger experience is being maintained.” So declares Mikko Komi, key account and business development manager at Helsinki Airport (HEL), in relation to the work on the new departures and arrivals halls. “These are being built in front of the terminal and are scheduled to open in 2022,” he explains.

These are not the only building projects at Helsinki as an extension to the terminal heads towards completion. “We’re doubling the number of widebody stands in the non-Schengen area from 8 to 16, although some will be flexi-gates which can also be used for Schengen area flights,” notes Aimo Rantanen, Finavia’s route development manager. “We’re also refurbishing three of the old gates, while still meeting the highest environmental standards.”

The construction work – which is the last of €1.1 billion nvestment which began in 2016 and ends when the new departures and arrivals halls open – will take capacity to over 30 million.

Last year Helsinki Airport reported passenger figures of 21.9 million, a 4.9% increase on 2018, or around a million extra passengers. Repeated each year over the next decade, the passenger figure would approach 30 million. Finavia has put itself ahead of the growth curve.

Helsinki’s forward planning doesn’t end there. “We are getting a new Masterplan under way,” Komi reports. “The last one was published in 2014. The next one will consider what the airport will be like after 2030.”