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Helsinki Airport development continues: runway renovation ahead

Finavia Corporation is carrying out extensive improvements at Helsinki Airport. In order to maintain the highest level of aviation safety, it will renovate the airport’s main runway during the summer. The investment is part of Finavia’s 900 million euro development programme, aiming to strengthen Helsinki Airport's position as the leading transfer airport in Northern Europe.

The runway renovated is the oldest runway at Helsinki Airport. It was taken into use in 1952 when the airport was opened for traffic. The runways are on heavy use since there are around 550 operations, that is take-offs and landings, at Helsinki Airport every day.

The renovation, carried out between May and early August, will reduce Helsinki Airport's runway capacity. However, it will not have major impact on traffic volumes during the summer.

All flights with wide-body aircraft and the highest-volume routes in Europe will be operated as usual. Possible schedule changes will mainly concern routes with the lowest passenger numbers.

"We have held meetings with airlines since autumn, planning summer schedules and finding solutions to possible timetable changes. Numerous analyses on how to ensure smooth operations during the renovation have been made," explains Finavia’s Heini Noronen-Juhola, Vice President, Aviation & Safety at Helsinki Airport.

In 2014, World Economic Forum ranked Finland's air transport infrastructure as the fifth best in the world. Runway renovation will strengthen this position, as well as improve Finavia’s ability to maintain the aviation safety at the highest level.

In addition to Helsinki Airport, Finavia is renovating runways at Ivalo, Vaasa and Kittilä airports.

Getting ready for 20 million passengers
In order to strengthen Helsinki Airport’s position as the leading hub in Northern Europe, Finavia has launched an extensive development programme continuing until 2020.

The plan is to increase the airport’s transfer traffic capacity by terminal extension. Extending the terminal under one roof allows Helsinki Airport to maintain its competitive advantages, such as short distances and easily accessible services. The aim is to serve 20 million yearly passengers in 2020. At the same time, Finavia has launched the largest ever service overhaul at Helsinki Airport, attracting leading international companies, such as Europe's largest travel sector retailer World Duty Free Group (WDFG) and major airport restaurant service provider HMSHost, to the airport. A total of 70 new or refurbished shops and restaurants will open in the near future.

What is more, the long awaited train link from Helsinki City Centre to Helsinki Airport will open in summer 2015. Providing faster and better connection between the airport and the city centre, the Ring Rail Line improves the airport’s service level and makes international flight connections and airport services easier accessible. For example, the fast Allegro train combined with the Ring Rail Line will soon provide Russian passengers an easy and fast train connection from St. Petersburg all the way to Helsinki Airport.

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