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Finavia to launch Helsinki Airport development programme in January

The estimated cost of the work, set to begin in January, is about 5 million euros.

Finavia will start to increase the capacity of Helsinki Airport‘s departure hall and improve terminal services beginning straight after Epiphany. The first stage of the programme will be completed in the summer, at which time a new security checkpoint will be introduced in Terminal 2. At the same time, the shopping environment of the airport will undergo a complete transformation.

“The increase in passenger volumes particularly shows in the departure lobby of Terminal 2. We want to increase the flow and the pass-through capacity to a great extent. Our goal is that all passengers can pass through the security check in less than 15 minutes,” says Airport Director Ville Haapasaari at Finavia.

Haapasaari promises good news already for the summer holiday season, at which time the new security checkpoint will be introduced. Finavia will open five new lines, after which Terminal 2 will have a total of 18 lines. Looking further ahead, the intention is to increase the capacity and to open two more lines.

“The new line will increase the security check capacity by almost 40%. During peak hours, we can serve more than 3,200 passengers per hour,” says Haapasaari.

Check-in will be modernised at the same time. Terminal 2 will get 12 new check-in machines and ten new bag drop machines. For this purpose, the floor of the departure lobby will be extended to some extent. The extension will be near the main doors.

All existing security check and check-in services will be available during the modifications.

An additional security checkpoint will be built upstairs from the check-in area, on the third floor of the terminal. The conference and VIP centre is located there at the moment, but will be closed during construction.

Helsinki Airport’s other conference and meeting facilities and the VIP President terminal will be available as usual during the work. The renovated meeting facilities will be introduced in the summer.

The improvements in the departure lobby are part of Finavia’s €900 million development programme. The goal is to ensure the position of Helsinki Airport as a popular transit airport and a leading airport globally. The investments are in preparation for serving 20 million passengers by 2020.

The estimated cost of the work, set to begin in January, is about 5 million euros.

Major investments at shop and restaurant facilities

In addition to the development programme, Finavia will invest nearly €30 million in renovating airport’s restaurant and shop services in 2014–2016. The development work is being implemented in cooperation with Finnish and international partners who are also investing in new commercial spaces.

“The goal is to create an excellent shopping environment by international standards at Helsinki Airport and to substantially improve network airport services,” says Business Director Anne Gullsten at Finavia.

Gullsten says that the Helsinki Airport long-haul flight area will be totally renewed in winter. The old shop facilities have already been taken down and a premium shop area will be built there and introduced in April.

In November, Finavia sold its duty free shops to the international World Duty Free Group, which is the leading operator in its field in Europe. The company is investing substantially in the development of the airport’s commercial services. It will start its operations at Helsinki Airport in March 2014.

In addition, Finavia has signed an agreement with HMSHost, one of the world’s leading airport restaurant operators. The goal is to create new food concepts at Helsinki Airport based on both international and Finnish flavours. The intention is to open HMSHost-operated restaurants in 2014–2016. The existing restaurant operator, SSP Finland Oy, and other restaurant entrepreneurs will continue to operate in parallel with HMSHost.

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Vicky is the co-founder of TravelDailyNews Media Network where she is the Editor-in Chief. She is also responsible for the daily operation and the financial policy. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Tourism Business Administration from the Technical University of Athens and a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Wales.

She has many years of both academic and industrial experience within the travel industry. She has written/edited numerous articles in various tourism magazines.