17-Oct-2013 1:50 PM

Finavia is starting EUR900m development programme at Helsinki Airport

Finavia Corporation stated (16-Oct-2013) is starting a major development programme at Finland's Helsinki Airport, which is expected to have 20 million passengers p/a in the early 2020s. The development programme will be carried out between 2014 and 2020 and the focus will be on increasing check-in and transit travel capacity and on improving traffic arrangements. The aim is to ensure that Helsinki Airport will be able to maintain its strong competitive position in transit traffic between Europe and Asia. Finavia CEO Kari Savolainen said, “Passengers do not want any hitches and they expect quick transfers, high-quality services and a wealth of experiences. In a highly competitive environment, the success of an airport depends on these factors, and they must also be the focus areas at Helsinki Airport. One in every three passengers choose their flight routes on the basis of the transit airport". The company noted that previous investments have turned Helsinki Airport into a major transit hub between Asia and Europe and helped to increase its annual capacity to 15 million passengers. However, an increase in air traffic will cause congestion at the airport in the coming years. “It is estimated that about 20 million passengers will be using Helsinki Airport in the early 2020s. This means that we need bigger facilities and that Helsinki Airport must be able to keep up with the demands and improve its processes. Maintaining our principal airport as a leading transit hub will ensure that Finns will continue to have extensive flight connections and it will also boost the competitiveness of the Finnish economy,” the CEO said. The Helsinki Airport development programme 2014–2020 will cost around EUR900 million. The development programme will start in terminal 2 with improvements in the check-in area. At the same time, more detailed design work will start and final decisions on priorities concerning the new facilities will be made. Construction of the new infrastructure is expected to start in 2015. One option being considered by Finavia is the construction of a satellite terminal adjacent to terminal 2. Finavia is also planning to extend terminal 2 into the areas of car parks P1 and P2. An infusion of capital in which the Finnish government will invest a total of EUR200 million in Finavia will allow the company to start the development programme. It will also enable Finavia to strengthen its solvency ratio and make it better placed to borrow money. In addition to the development programme, Finavia will carry out repairs and maintenance at Helsinki Airport, at its most important provincial airports and in air navigation services. The work, which is expected to cost around EUR100 million, will include paving of runways and terminal maintenance. The extension of the airport after 2015 will not have any effect on the existing aircraft noise zones because the changes are not expected to have any impact on the manner in which the runways are operated. [more - original PR]