Finland’s Helsinki Airport is planning a major expansion programme aimed at enhancing its facilities and services to help accommodate the future increase in passenger numbers.

Starting in early 2016, airport operator Finavia will construct an additional south wing to the airport’s non-Schengen gable. A new west wing will be built later.

The airport plans to initiate the extension of its existing terminal 2 building, as a part of its €900m development programme introduced in 2014. The terminal extension is likely to be completed by summer 2020.

"Travel between Europe and Asia is expected to increase swiftly within the coming years."

Finavia has already introduced various changes under 2014 programme for increasing the airport’s connectivity with the rest of the world.

Finavia CEO Kari Savolainen said: "Travel between Europe and Asia is expected to increase swiftly within the coming years.

"To strengthen Helsinki Airport’s position as one of the top junctions between Europe and Asia, we need to develop our services and operations even further."

Under the current plan, the airport’s jet ways will be doubled and the capacity of the luggage facilities will be increased to enhance passenger experience.

Along with the terminal expansion, Finavia will add more shops and cafes, experiential services and new digital services.

While the terminal extension will result in a 50% increase in the airport’s floor space, distances will be kept short so that services are easily accessible.

Helsinki airport director from Finavia Ville Haapasaari said: "Helsinki Airport’s biggest strengths are short layover times, friendly staff, short distances and world-class services.

"We will strive to hold on to these as we expand and prepare to welcome even more traffic. Finnish feel is what is unique to us, and all the development work will be done with this in mind."