Finnish government-owned airport operator Finavia has inaugurated its new Aukio terminal extension at Helsinki Airport with the aim of helping passengers relax before their flight.

Aukio spans across 33,400m² of space and 25,000 m² will be used by passengers. An additional 55,000m² of apron will be developed to facilitate aircraft parking and ground handling services.

The new terminal extension includes an event plaza where travellers can witness the Finnish nature and experience the four seasons.

An immersive spatial experience offering the refreshing effects of nature will be available to those visiting the event plaza.

Finavia chief digital officer Heikki Koski said: “Locations where the event plaza’s 360 degree 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 colours, a rippling stream and the whistling wind.”

“Passengers get to witness the breathtaking Aurora Borealis, vibrant autumn colours, a rippling stream and the whistling wind.

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“The central element of the forest-inspired plaza is a LED screen that is 75 metres in width and two metres in height. This combination of special technologies is unique on a global scale.”

The new terminal expansion also features modern security measures, including automated Smart Lane X-ray line, full body scanners, and the remote reading of X-ray images.

Plans include the opening of a premium lounge for all Aukio passengers in late February to early March.

Finavia has also modernised its food and beverage retail space with a total of 11 new shops being opened including a Japanese Ajisen Ramen restaurant and a global toy store called Toyland.

Aukio is part of Finavia’s €1bn development programme that aims to place Helsinki Airport as a leading European airport for travel between Asia and Europe.

The planned expansion is expected to allow the airport to welcome nearly 30 million passengers per annum.