Finnish airport operator Finavia has announced that it will reopen Helsinki Airport’s (HEL) runway one as flight operation is expected to increase in the upcoming months.

The runway has been closed since 1 November last year as the Covid-19 pandemic hammered travel demand, reducing the number of operating flights.

With all three runways expected to become operational from 30 April, Helsinki Airport will also move from exceptional noise control procedures back to normal noise control.

The takeoff and landing routes at the airport will also return to normal.

Finavia vice-president and in charge of Helsinki Airport’s runway and apron operations Jani Elasmaa said: “Although the number of flights is still considerably lower than in 2019, we are again able to have all three runways of the airport open.

“It is a sign that the summer is coming and a proof of our belief in a slight increase in air traffic by the early autumn.”

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Located in the neighbouring city of Vantaa, Helsinki Airport is the largest and the busiest airport in Finland.

In 2020, the airport served five million passengers.

Earlier this month, KfW IPEX-Bank agreed to provide an additional $89.4m (€75m) funding for the upgrade and expansion of Helsinki Airport. This comes after the bank offered $113.2m (€95m) in 2019.

Overall, the expansion programme at the airport involves an investment of $1.19bn (€1bn).

The annual renovation of the runways and taxiways at Helsinki Airport is expected to commence in June.