New south pier of Helsinki Airport opened
12 Jul 2017, 02:16 ( 6 Months ago) | updated: 12 Jul 2017, 10:46 ( 6 Months ago)
The new south pier of Helsinki Airport was opened for passengers and air traffic on Monday, said a press release of Finavia, the company operating the airports in the country.
The first flight of Finnair departed from the majestic south pier gate 54 at 2:10 pm for New York.
On the 6th of July, around 200 volunteers took up the task to test the functionality of the south pier and verified that everything is working as it should.
According to the feedback from the testers, the new extension is full of light, comfortable and a well-functioning part of the airport. It could be taken into use straight away after the test.
“Opening the south pier for air traffic is a unique moment in the history of the airport. I want to thank everybody who took part in the test for their important contribution to the development of Helsinki Airport,” said Finavia’s Technical Director Henri Hansson.
The extension was inaugurated on a historically significant day. Helsinki Airport itself was opened on exactly the same day 65 years ago. On 10 July 1952, the Finnish flag and the Olympic flags flew at sunny airport.
The new extension completed at the southern tip of Terminal 2 serves passengers travelling to Asia and North America, among others.
The extension features 8,300 new square metres of new space for passengers, three new boarding bridges for wide-body aircrafts and Finland’s first moving airport walkway.
They will make travelling easier and strengthen the role of Helsinki Airport as an important hub in air traffic between Europe and Asia.
The guiding principle behind the appearance of the new extension has been Finnish expertise and design. The impressive, diagonal glass walls offer passengers a unique and unobstructed view of the runway. There is altogether 4,500 square metres of glass surface in the south pier.
The materials and furnishings are Finnish by nature. For example, the walls have been coated with light-coloured, natural or black stained wood veneer. The veneer has been manufactured by CWP from Lappeenranta.
Passengers can await their flight in Karuselli chairs designed by Yrjö Kukkapuro, Ilmari Tapiovaara’s Mademoiselle rocking chairs or Alvar Aalto’s arm chairs. The Pilke light fixtures are by Tuukka Halonen.
The traditional airport furnishings have also been designed in Finland. The recliners and block seats have been designed by Kai Lindvall of PES-Architects.
The south pier is part of Finavia’s development programme. The terminal will be expanded by a total of 103,000 square metres.
The building and inauguration of the new spaces, the launching of new services and the improvement of travel as a whole will take place in stages and be complete by 2020.
The next milestone of the development programme will be the inauguration of the central plaza in the beginning of 2019. The plaza will become the heart of the extension through which all long-haul flight passengers will depart and arrive.