Helsinki Vantaa Highway Strip was was located immediately at the northwestern side of the Helsinki Vantaa airport, on road Katriinantie/Katrinevägen. The the southwest end was a taxiway to Helsinki Vantaa airport.
Plans for a new airport at Helsinki were first raised 1940s, because airport at Malmi could not handle more passengers and the then heavier aircraft. Helsinki Airport was originally built for the 1952 Summer Olympics.
The Finnish Air Force had a QRA site their during the Cold War. The airport can be used by the military in times of crisis or a war.
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 administrative 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 17.2 million passengers in 2016, including 14.5 million international passengers and 2.7 million domestic passengers. The airport handled 165,430 tonnes of cargo in 2015. On average, 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 and Primera Air. The airport is also a focus city for Thomas Cook Airlines Scandinavia. Helsinki Airport handles around 40 airlines, including 28 scheduled and 13 charter airlines, while offering scheduled and charter flights to over 130 destinations in 45 countries worldwide. The airport offers a total of 21 direct long-haul routes to Asia and North America and numerous long-haul charter destinations. Currently Helsinki Airport has two terminals with a total of 27 jet bridges and numerous remote parking stands.
Originally built for the 1952 Summer Olympics in Helsinki, the airport is today the fourth busiest airport in the Nordic countries, with 16,422,266 passengers having used the airport in 2015. This number makes up for around 90% of the total number of passengers in Finland's 21 commercial airports combined (around 20 million) 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.
Opening and early yearsEdit
Aerial photo of Helsinki Airport terminal area in 1969. Plans for a new airport at Helsinki had begun as early as the 1940s, when it had become evident that the old airport at Malmi could not handle the increasing number of passengers or the new, heavier aircraft.
Helsinki Airport was originally built for the 1952 Summer Olympics in Helsinki. The 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. The airport originally had a single runway, the second runway being built four years later in 1956. Regular jet flight operations began in 1959. The year 1973 saw the first security checks being carried out for international flights. A new terminal opened in 1969, while 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, the airport began offering the first non-stop service from Western Europe to Japan as Finnair commenced regular service between Helsinki and Tokyo with a single McDonnell Douglas DC-10-30ER. In the 1970s, Pan Am operated flights from Helsinki to the US. 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. In 1991, Delta Air Lines commenced its operations at the airport. A new terminal was constructed for domestic flights in 1993. In 1996 the international terminal was expanded and merged with the domestic terminal. At the same time, the new control tower was completed. In November 1999, the international terminal was further expanded and the lobby for arriving and departing passengers was built.
In 2000, the airport handled over 10 million passengers for the first time in its history. The third runway was inaugurated on 28 November 2002 and the first user was Finnair's McDonnell Douglas MD-11 en route to New York. In 2004, the international terminal was again expanded and a new shopping area was opened for long-haul passengers. In 2009, the latest expansion of Terminal 2 was completed. The total floor area was 43,908 square metres (472,620 sq ft). The same year witnessed the opening of a new shopping area and spa for passengers on long-haul flights, the removal of a terminal-specific division between domestic and international flights, and the renovation of Terminal 1 for international flights. In the same year TAP Portugal commenced service between Helsinki and Lisbon.
During the 2010s, Helsinki Airport has experienced large increases in number of the annual passengers. In April 2010, Norwegian Air Shuttle opened its first routes to Oslo and Stockholm using Boeing 737 jets. Now the airline is the one of the largest operators at the airport with around 30 destinations.
In 2011, Helsinki Airport saw its biggest growth in a single year in number of passengers. The amount of annual passengers was increased by 2 million passengers and the airport reached the milestone of 14 million passengers. As of 2008, easyJet had operated three routes from Helsinki to Manchester, London–Gatwick and Paris–Charles de Gaulle. However the low-cost carrier cancelled these routes in 2011, citing weak demand at the Helsinki end of the routes. In May 2011, American Airlines opened summer seasonal service between Helsinki and Chicago, United States using Boeing 767 jetliners. However, the airline cancelled service in 2014 as the route was converted to Finnair. In November 2011, Austrian Airlines cancelled its Vienna-Helsinki operations. In 2012, Helsinki Airport got its another daily service to Tokyo as Japan Airlines commenced service to Helsinki using Boeing 787 Dreamliners. In the same year, Czech Airlines ceased its Helsinki operations due to low demand. A year later, LOT Polish Airlines cancelled its service to Helsinki. In 2014, a number of airlines cancelled their operations. In that year Aer Lingus and Germanwings as well as S7 Airlines and Wizz Air that also started operations in that year, cancelled services to Helsinki.
In the beginning of 2015, the renovation and construction work related to development of Helsinki Airport started. For example, the Baggage Claim Hall 2B and Arrival Hall 2A were renovated and in July 2015, train operation on the Ring Rail Line and connection to Helsinki Central Railway Station were opened. In March 2015, Swiss International Air Lines started operations to Helsinki but cancelled it a year after. In late 2015, Blue1 ceased all operations from Helsinki which was the airline's only base. The airline flew to 28 destinations in Europe. Scandinavian Airlines sold Blue1 to CityJet, which continues to operate the company on behalf of SAS as part of a larger relationship. In 2015, the airport handled up to 16 million passengers for the first time. In March 2016, Czech Airlines resumed flights from Prague to Helsinki using Airbus A319, Boeing 737-400 and Boeing 737-700 aircraft. On 10 October 2016, the first Gulf carrier Qatar Airways commenced operations at the airport. On 27 October 2016, Norwegian Air Shuttle announced to double its flights from Helsinki within next five years and plans also launch long haul flights from the airport.
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. As the terminal extension is completed, the airport will have 60 gates altogether with 19 gates in Terminal 1 and 41 in Terminal 2.
In 2014, Helsinki airport introduced the world's first passenger tracking system, which automatically monitors crowd congestion and prevents bottlenecks at the two-terminal airport.
Helsinki Airport has extensive cargo flight activity. There is a cargo area with cargo terminals and cargo transit facilities in the southeastern part of the airport area. ASL Airlines Belgium (formerly TNT Airways) and DHL have their own cargo terminals at the airport. At the airport there is a new cargo terminal under construction for Finnair Cargo that is the largest operator for passenger and cargo operations at the airport. Currently scheduled cargo operating airlines are AirBridgeCargo Airlines operated with Boeing 747 cargo aircraft, ASL Airlines Belgium, DHL Aviation operated by EAT Leipzig and IAG Cargo and FedEx, UPS Airlines. Turkish Airlines operates its cargo services to HEL with Airbus A310 and A330 cargo aircraft (sometimes operated by ULS Airlines Cargo and MASkargo). In addition to scheduled cargo operations many other cargo airlines such as Emirates SkyCargo, Kalitta Air and Lufthansa Cargo have random operations at Helsinki Airport.
Ground handling Edit
The following handling agents provide ground handling services for airlines: Airpro, Aviator and Swissport.
Airport railway station (Finnish: Lentoaseman rautatieasema, Swedish: Flygplatsens järnvägsstation) is a Helsinki commuter rail station located at the Helsinki Airport in Vantaa, Finland.
Master Plan 2020Edit
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.