Helsinki Vantaa Airport, which is situated about 20km from the centre of Helsinki, Finland, opened in 1952. State-owned enterprise Finavia is the airport’s operator. The company currently operates 25 airports in Finland.
The airport has three runways, a domestic terminal and an international terminal. The airport received 13.4 million passengers in 2008. In August 2009 the domestic terminal was officially designated as Terminal 1 (T1) and the international terminal became Terminal 2 (T2). The signage system was upgraded in August 2009. The security control line capacity was enhanced in August 2009 by adding new lines and lengthening line counters.
The new long-haul expansion area added new shops in September 2009. It also features a 400-seat restaurant complex called My City Helsinki.
Finavia started revamping T1 in November 2008. The domestic terminal has undergone two other expansions, in 1983 and 1993.
The Change Group opened a new currency exchange in T1 in October 2009. A new shopping area and bar also opened at the terminal in November 2009. The airport is expected to have 100 service points by 2009.
The refurbished SAS business lounge in T1 opened in November 2009. The lounge has space for 110 passengers and features a living room and meeting point. It is close to departure gates for Blue 1, SAS and Star Alliance. Development activities at T1 were expected to be completed by the end of December 2009.
T2 has been expanded three times before, in 1996, 1999 and 2004. Finavia undertook another extension project at the terminal in August 2006 because of the growth in the number of transit passengers between Asia and Europe.
The expansion of T2 includes the construction of a long-haul lounge and a new baggage handling centre. The first section of the international terminal’s expansion for long-haul flights was completed in August 2009. The estimated cost of extending T2 is Є143m. More than half the amount is expected to be spent on a new baggage handling centre. The new extension will cover an area of 39,000m² and was due to be completed in late 2009. The upgraded terminal will handle about 16 million passengers a year.
The three-storey terminal extension for long-haul flights was completed on 10 December 2009. The first stage of the T2 renovation is expected to be completed in March 2010.
The new baggage centre will be added in 2010. The new baggage system will be able to handle almost all the airport’s baggage. A 280m-long tunnel at a depth of 22m will connect the current and future baggage areas.
The baggage handling system will be more than 10km long and its peak capacity will be 7,000 bags per hour. More than 20,000m² of space will be available for processing and sorting at the new facility.
FKI Logistex was awarded a Є40m contract in October 2008 to design and install the new baggage handling system. The conveyor elements will be supplied by ALSTEF. The contract for architecture and design of the international terminal extension was awarded to Parviainen Architects.
The airport has about 12,000 parking places. Its P3 multi-storey car parking facility, built in 1994, had space for 2,238 vehicles. The capacity was increased to 4,650 by the terminal extension. The extended facility, located opposite the domestic terminal, opened in February 2009.
In March 2006 Finavia announced its decision to construct a World Trade Centre (WTC) tower at the airport. The WTC H will feature business and office space. The WTC will be composed of two buildings and developed in two stages. The first stage will see the construction of the eastern building, while the western building will be constructed during the second stage. The contract for construction of the WTC was awarded to SRV Group. SARC Architects will design the facility.
Construction of the 18km Ring Rail line, which will connect the airport with Helsinki, started in May 2009. It will open in 2014. The line will have four stations: Kivisto, Aviapolis, the airport and Leinelä. Stations at the airport will be developed underground between the domestic and international terminal.