|IATA: HEL – ICAO: EFHK|
|Focus city for|
|Elevation AMSL||55 m / 179 ft|
Helsinki Airport or Helsinki-Vantaa Airport (IATA: HEL, ICAO: EFHK; Finnish: Helsinki-Vantaan lentoasema, Swedish: Helsingfors-Vanda flygplats) is the main international airport of the Helsinki metropolitan region. The airport is located in the city of Vantaa, about 5 kilometres (3 mi) west of Tikkurila, the centre of Vantaa and 9.2 NM (17.0 km; 10.6 mi) north of Helsinki city center. The airport is operated by Finavia. Helsinki Airport is the leading long-haul airport in Northern Europe.
The airport is the main international gateway to Finland and the biggest airport in the country. It is the 31st largest airport in Europe and 4th largest in the Nordic countries in terms of passenger numbers. About 90% of Finland’s international air traffic passes through Helsinki Airport. The airport handled 16.4 million passengers in 2015, 13.8 million international passengers and 2.6 million domestic passengers. The airport handled 165,430 tonnes of cargo in 2015. Furthermore, the airport handles around 350 departures a day.
The airport is the main hub for Finnair, the flag carrier of Finland, and its subsidiary Nordic Regional Airlines. It is also the hub for CityJet (on behalf of SAS), Jet Time, TUIfly Nordic and operating base for Norwegian Air Shuttle. The airport is a focus city for Thomas Cook Airlines Scandinavia. Helsinki Airport handles around 40 airlines, 28 scheduled and 13 charter airlines, and offers scheduled and charter flights to over 130 destinations in 45 countries around the world. The airport has total of 21 direct long-haul routes to Asia and North America and numerous charter long-haul destinations. Currently Helsinki Airport has two terminals with a total of 27 jet bridges and numerous remote parking stands.
- 1 Overview
- 2 History
- 3 Composition
- 4 Facilities
- 5 Air traffic
- 6 Future development
- 7 Airlines and destinations
- 8 Statistics
- 9 Ground transportation
- 10 See also
- 11 References
- 12 External links
Originally built for the 1952 Summer Olympics in Helsinki, the airport is today the fourth busiest airport in the Nordic countries, with 15,948,760 passengers having used the airport in 2014. This number makes up for 81% of the total number of passengers in Finland's 21 commercial airports combined (18,880,940). making it the busiest airport in Finland by far. It provides jobs for 20,000 people and there are 1,500 companies that operate at this airport. The airport is operated by Finavia, the state-owned enterprise that operates Finland's airports.
As of February 2015, there has been a proposal to rename the airport as "Sibelius Airport" after Jean Sibelius, Finland's most famous composer. The proposal stems from the project group of Jean Sibelius's anniversary year 2015, the foundation for the Sibelius birth city foundation and the Sibelius society. The Finnish government ministers Alexander Stubb, Antti Rinne and Paula Risikko have expressed positive feedback for the proposal.
1940s-1970s and opening
The planning of a new airport for Helsinki had already begun in the 1940s, when it became obvious that the old airport at Malmi could not handle the increasing number of passengers or the new, heavier aircraft.
Helsinki Airport built for the 1952 Summer Olympics in Helsinki. First two Aero Oy DC-3 aircraft, OH-LCC and OH-LCD, landed on 26 June 1952. While Aero (now Finnair) used Helsinki-Malmi Airport, charter flights were directed to the new airport on 26 October 1952. At the airport there had to be only one runway, however the second runway was built four years later in 1956. Regular jet flight operations began in 1959. In 1973, first security checks on international flights. The new terminal opened in 1969 and the first transatlantic service to New York was inaugurated on 15 May 1969. The name Helsinki-Vantaa Airport was taken in use in 1977.
In 1983, Helsinki-Vantaa Airport became the first airport to have non-stop service from Western Europe to Japan as Finnair commanced the service between Helsinki and Tokyo with one McDonnell Douglas DC-10-30ER. The passenger terminal was expanded for the first time in 1983 and five years later, in 1988, the airport handled over six million passengers annually. The new terminal was constructed for domestic flights in 1993. In 1996, international terminal was expanded and domestic terminal was combined with it. At the same time, new control tower was completed. In November 1999, international terminal was expanded again and the lobby for arriving and departing passengers was built.
2000s and third runway
In 2000, the airport handled over 10 million passengers for the first time ever. The third runway was taken in use on 28 November 2002. The first user was Finnair McDonneld Douglas MD-11 en route to New York. In 2004, international terminal was expanded and the new shopping area was opened for long-haul flight passengers. In 2004, expansion of the International Flights Terminal and opening of a new shopping area for long-haul passengers.
In 2009 expansion of Terminal 2, a new shopping area and a spa was opened for passengers on long-distance flights, the division between domestic and international flights was removed, Terminal 1 was renovated to be used for international flights.
The airport is nominally divided into two terminals, located 250 metres (820 ft) apart and linked by an internal pedestrian connection both airside and landside. In practice, however, the airside parts of the terminal buildings are not divided into Terminal 1 (the former domestic terminal) and Terminal 2 (the former international terminal) but to Schengen and non-Schengen areas. The terminal capacity of the airport is approximately 16–17 million passengers per year.
Domestic flights as well as flights to European Schengen countries are operated from gates 11–31. Long-haul and European non-Schengen flights are operated from gates 31–38.
Terminal 1 (gates 5-15) has 11 gates and four of them are equipped with jet bridges. The terminal opened in 1952 and is the first terminal at the airport. It is used by member airlines of Star Alliance such as Aegean Airlines, Lufthansa, Scandinavian Airlines, TAP Portugal. In addition to Star Alliance members, Vueling also operate flights to Barcelona from this terminal. Currently none of airlines operate long haul flights from Terminal 1.
Terminal 2 (gates 16–38) opened in 1969 for international operations and, at present, also serves domestic flights. It is the largest of the two passenger terminals at the airport. All intercontinental flights operate from Terminal 2. The non-Schengen area of Terminal 2 has been enlarged in 2009 enabling the airport to accommodate eight wide-body aircraft at gates simultaneously while a new shopping area and a spa were opened for passengers on long-distance flights and the division between domestic and international flights was removed. Terminal 2 has many restaurants, bars and shopping areas. The terminal is equipped with 26 aircraft parking stands with passenger bridges.
Terminal 2 is used by member airlines of Oneworld and Skyteam airline alliances. Turkish Airlines makes an exception among Star Alliance airlines by using Terminal 2. In addition to the scheduled services listed, almost all charter flights are handled at Terminal 2. The current airlines using Terminal 2 are Aeroflot, Air Berlin, Airest, Arkia, Belavia, British Airways, Budapest Aircraft Service, Corendon Airlines, Czech Airlines, Finnair, Finnair operated by Nordic Regional Airlines, Freebird Airlines, Jet Time, Icelandair, Japan Airlines, KLM, Nextjet (from 15 September 2016), Norwegian Air Shuttle, Nouvelair Tunisie, Onur Air, Primera Air Scandinavia, Qatar Airways (from 10 October 2016), Sun Express, Thomas Cook Airlines Scandinavia, TUIfly, TUIfly Nordic, TUIfly Nordic operated by Thomson Airways, Turkish Airlines, Ukraine International Airlines and Ural Airlines. In addition to current airlines, Terminal 2 will have fourth airline to serve long-haul flights as Beijing Capital Airlines starts flights from Beijing in May 2017.
Finnair's check-in area
There are several airport hotels and office buildings on the grounds of the airport. The Aviapolis is a new international business park adjacent to the Helsinki airport area, already hosting the operations of numerous companies around the airport.
In 2013, Finnair opened its new head office, known as House of Travel and Transportation (or "HOTT"). The construction of HOTT began in July 2011 and finished on time in June 2013.
Passenger facilities include: numerous tax-free shops, Avis, Europcar and Hertz-car rentals, free wireless Internet access, power sockets, lockers, sleeping pods and transfer service desks. Currency exchange, cash machines (ATM), tourist information and pharmacy are also available. For children there are also many playrooms. Dining facilities includes for example Burger King and O'Learys and many other restaurants and cafés. At the airport there are also Finnair and SAS lounges.
Helsinki Airport has three runways: Runway 1 (04R/22L), Runway 2 (04L/22R) and Runway 3 (15/33). Runway 1 is 3,500 metres (11,483 ft), Runway 2 is 3,060 metres (10,039 ft) long and Runway 3 is 2,901 metres (9,518 ft) long. The runways can handle take-offs and landings of the heaviest aircraft in use today such as Airbus A380. The airport's three runways provide a platform for future growth while the airport is capable of accommodating wide-body aircraft. The use of three runways allows two runways to be kept open when clearing of snow and ice is needed (if one runway at a time is being cleared).
The following airlines maintain hub or base operations at Helsinki Airport:
- Finnair is the largest airline operating at the airport, with all-Airbus fleet of over 57 aircraft based at Helsinki, providing scheduled services to the Middle East, Asia, Europe and North-America. Finnair operates almost 20 intercontinental routes from HEL. All flights are operated from Terminal 2.
- Jet Time is a charter airline that operates several flights from Helsinki to Europe.
- Nordic Regional Airlines, a subsidiary of Finnair that operates from Helsinki to Europe with its ATR and Embraer fleet. This airline operates from Terminal 2
- Norwegian Air Shuttle, a low-cost airline which operates to over 30 destinations from Helsinki to the Europe and Middle East. It operates from Terminal 2.
- Thomas Cook Scandinavia Airlines uses Helsinki Airport as a focus city with many charter flights to Asia and Europe. The airline operates from Terminal 2.
- TUIfly Nordic, a charter airline that operates to Asia, Europe and North-America. The airline operates from Terminal 2.
Development since 2013
In 2013 Finavia announced plans to expand the airport to serve up to 20 million passengers by 2020. The construction is set to begin in 2014 by adding capacity to check-in and transit areas at Terminal 2. The expansion project is estimated to cost 900 million euros. Among the finished and the further planned projects are:
- Renewal of Baggage Claim Hall 2B (done as of January 2015)
- Renovation of Arrival Hall 2A (done as of June 2015)
- Train connection (done as of July 2015)
- Renovation of Runway 1 (done as of August 2015)
- 3000 new parking spaces (August 2016)
- New aircraft engine test site (October 2016)
- Finnair's new cargo terminal (March 2017)
- The new southern wing (August 2017)
- The new western wing (Summer 2020)
Part of the plan was to build a satellite terminal next to Terminal 2 but the plan was cancelled in favor of expansion under a single terminal building. In September 2014 Finavia revealed more detailed plans for the future expansion that will take place between 2014 and 2020. Terminals 1 and 2 will be combined and expanded under one roof with new gates (8 additional jet bridges to Terminal 2) and aircraft stands on the apron. All gates for long-haul flights will have two glass walled jet bridges (such as at Incheon International Airport in Seoul) to handle larger aircraft faster. Construction of the southern wing of Terminal 2 started on 4 January 2016 while construction of the western wing is expected to start in 2017.
Once the southern wing is completed in summer 2017, the floor area of the terminal will increase by a total of 7,850 square meters. There will be two floors: one for arriving passengers, the other for departures. The area of the apron to be renovated covers a total of 157,000 square meters.
New cargo terminal
The construction of a new freight terminal (35,000 square metres) began in March 2015. The capacity of the terminal is being expanded to accommodate the growing freight capacity that will be provided by Finnair's Airbus A350 XWB fleet. Finnair's freight operations will continue in the current location until the relocation to the new freight terminal in spring 2017.
Planned third terminal
In addition to the terminal expansion, Finavia has also planned to build the third terminal at Helsinki Airport. According to Finavia's plan the new terminal would be located between runways 04R/22L and 04L/22R and runway 15/33 would be removed. The terminal would be the main terminal of the airport but check-in area would stay in the current terminal building. The decision to build the third terminal has not been done yet.
Airlines and destinations
Helsinki Airport offers scheduled and charter flights to over 130 destinations in 45 countries around the world. The following airlines offer scheduled flights at Helsinki Airport:
10 busiest European routes by weekly departures:
10 busiest domestic routes by weekly departures:
Countries with most handled passengers to/from Helsinki Airport (2015)
Freight and Mail
|Year||Domestic freight||Domestic mail||International freight||International mail||Total freight and mail||Change|
|Helsinki Airport rail services|
The Ring Rail Line railway link to the airport opened for traffic in July 2015. The new railway serves local commuter trains running at 10-minute intervals at peak periods, although capacity problems have prevented dedicated airport express style trains. The westbound commuter line "I" runs to Helsinki Central station via Huopalahti, while the eastbound commuter line "P" runs to Helsinki Central station via Tikkurila. The trip from the airport underground station to Helsinki Central station takes about 30 minutes and costs 5,50 euros. Eastbound trains stop at Tikkurila (8 minutes away) where passengers can transfer to trains going away from Helsinki, in the directions of Tampere and Lahti, including lines to Saint Petersburg and Moscow.
Taxis are also available at the airport. Taxi stands are located in front of both terminals.
There is regular bus service provided by the bus line 615 from the airport to the Helsinki Central railway station in 30–55 minutes, and major hotels and railway stations in the Greater Helsinki Area in 15–120 minutes. The chief operator of these services is the Helsinki Regional Transport Authority. A direct coach service by Finnair is also available to and from the city center (usually about 30 min).
|Means of transport||Operator||Route||Destinations||Website||Notes|
|Bus||Helsinki Regional Transport Authority||615||Helsinki Central railway station (Finnish: Rautatientori)||www.hsl.fi|
|Pohjolan Liikenne||Finnair City Bus||Helsinki Central railway station||www.pohjolanliikenne.fi|
|Matkahuolto||--||Hämeenlinna, Imatra, Joensuu, Jyväskylä, Kajaani, Kotka, Kouvola, Kuopio, Lahti, Lappeenranta, Lohja, Mikkeli, Oulu, Porvoo, Salo, Tampere, Turku, Vaasa||www.matkahuolto.fi|
|Train||VR||P||Helsinki Central railway station (via Tikkurila railway station)||www.vr.fi|
|VR||I||Helsinki Central railway station (via Huopalahti railway station)||www.vr.fi|
- "EFHK Helsinki-Vantaa" (PDF). AIP Suomi / Finland. Finavia. 23 July 2015. pp. EFHK AD 2.1, pp. 1–7. Retrieved 25 July 2015.
- "Finavia's Air Traffic Statistics 2010" (PDF). Vantaa: Finavia. pp. 7, 9. Retrieved 15 July 2011.
- "Helsinki Airport". Finavia. Retrieved 29 August 2014.
- "EFHK Helsinki-Vantaa" (PDF). AIP Suomi / Finland. Finavia. 5 February 2015. pp. EFHK AD 2.1, p. 1. Retrieved 18 July 2015.
- "(HEL) Helsinki-Vantaa Airport". Retrieved 10 May 2015.
- Raeste, Juha-Pekka: Lentoasemat pulassa. Helsingin Sanomat 8 June 2014, pp. B8-B9,
- "Helsinki Airport". Retrieved 10 May 2015.
- Arvovaltainen aloite: Helsinki-Vantaan lentokentästä Sibelius-lentokenttä, Helsingin Sanomat online edition, 4 February 2015.
- "Helsinki-Vantaan lentoaseman nimeen halutaan Jean Sibelius". mtv.fi. Retrieved 10 May 2015.
- "Helsinki airport introduces world's first passenger tracking system". The Sydney Morning Herald. 30 July 2014. Retrieved 30 July 2014.
- "How Helsinki airport deals with snow and ice". BBC News. 20 December 2010. Retrieved 16 July 2011.
- Finavia is starting a major development programme at Helsinki Airport 16 October 2013
- Helsinki Airport determined to remain an attractive international hub: services will expand under one roof 18 September 2014
- "QATAR Airways Plans New Routes from August 2016". airlineroute. Retrieved 9 March 2016.
- "Ring Rail Line". Finnish Transport Agency. 14 July 2011. Retrieved 16 July 2011.
Media related to Helsinki-Vantaa Airport at Wikimedia Commons