Airport operator Finavia has commenced the second phase of a wider expansion plan for the Helsinki Airport.

The second phase will see construction of a new south wing passenger terminal project as part of the larger development project worth nearly €1bn.

This phase is scheduled to be completed by the summer of 2017.

The terminal currently serves long haul flights.

In August 2015, Finavia contracted Lemminkäinen and Destia to complete building and civil engineering works as part of the development project. The two contracts put together were worth €260m.

The second phase aims to increase the airport’s size, and improve the part of the terminal serving long-distance and transit traffic.

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"An internationally competitive airport is important for the well-being of Finland as a whole."

The terminal’s area will increase by 7,850m2, and it will have two separate floors for arrivals and departures. The airport will also have its first moving walkways.

In addition, the phase will renovate the 157,000m2 apron, the area for moving and parking aeroplanes.

This phase will also see construction of four outside parking spaces for wide-body aircraft, and the installation of three passenger boarding bridges next to the terminal. The new bridges will be constructed as double bridges.

Once work on the second phase is completed, planes can be boarded simultaneously through two passages, with one leading to the front of the plane and one to the middle. This will ensure faster boarding and disembarking.

After the southern section of the terminal is renovated, work will begin on the west wing, which will be completed in summer 2020.

The airport director Ville Haapasaari said: "An internationally competitive airport is important for the well-being of Finland as a whole.

"It helps the country maintain good flight connections for Finns to all destinations around the world, and it will create thousands of new jobs."

Image: The second phase is scheduled to be completed by the summer of 2017. Photo: courtesy of Finavia.