Finnish airport operator Finavia is set to open the extension of Helsinki Airport Terminal 2 on December 1, 2021, with a new main entrance, a departures hall, an arrivals hall and a travel center connecting passengers with different modes of transport from the airport.
In the summer of 2022, a new security check and check-in area will also be put in place, as well as a new catering area. In 2023, the development of the Schengen Gate area and the baggage claim hall will be completed and Finavia’s investment program will be completed.
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The focal point of the new Arrivals Hall is the Luoto Diorama, an installation meant to celebrate Finnish nature. Passengers arriving at Terminal 2 will exit through the centralized arrivals hall, which will have familiar cafe and restaurant services to suit all budgets. The popular 24/7 Alepa grocery store, car rental companies and Finavia information service will also move there.
The Departures Hall has a wavy roof and large windows to maximize the amount of natural light. The architectural design of the enlarged area was inspired by classic Finnish design, such as Tapio Wirkkala’s Ultima Thule glass designs and the geographic contours of the country. The roof, made in the Finnish town of Raisio, consists of 500 unique cross-laminated timber (CLT) elements that have been positioned one by one.
The multimodal hub is accessible directly from the new P1 Premium / P2 car park and the train station in a few minutes. The covered bus and taxi stations are located just outside the terminal exit. From December 1, cars and taxis will be able to pass directly in front of the main gates to drop off passengers.
Environmental values and decarbonisation were emphasized during the planning stages, resulting in a terminal that is now 30% more energy efficient than what is officially required. Energy savings have been achieved, for example, through heat recovery and good thermal insulation of the building envelope. Smart lighting will dim and turn off depending on the amount of natural light coming through the windows. In the new P1 Premium / P2 car park, vehicles are recharged using solar energy.
The eight-year investment program is in its home stretch, having contracted 16,600 person-years of the local Finnish economy. Henri Hansson, senior vice president of technology and sustainability at Finavia, said: “The domestic content of the billion euros [US$1.1bn] development program – that is, the share of the total investment taken by contracts with Finnish companies – is around 90%.
SRV was the prime contractor for the Terminal 2 extension. The new section and the bus and taxi stations were designed by Alan Leather Associates (ALA). The new car park and the new connection to the Ring Rail Line were both carried out by the architectural firm HKP, which was also responsible for planning the modification works of the terminal. The Ramboll engineering company was responsible for the technical design.
Hansson added: “We are proud to offer world class facilities to passengers. Terminal 2 is mainly high quality Finnish work that we can be proud of. Colors and materials will guide the passenger through the terminal. We have come up with many solutions to make air travel as easy and natural as possible. Sustainability has also been an important goal throughout the development program. It defines everything we do: planning, construction, cooperation and maintenance. The extension for long distance traffic has already obtained an internationally renowned BREEAM [Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method] certificate for full sustainability work.
Ulla Lettijeff, Helsinki Airport Manager, said: “The convenient connection to the train station brings Helsinki Airport services closer to residents of neighboring areas. With its restaurants, cafes, grocery stores and pharmacies, the airport will serve them well. The reform strengthens the position of Helsinki airport as an international transit airport. The airport’s unbeatable asset lies in its strategic position between Europe and Asia. Improved services and smoother transit traffic will increase Finland’s competitiveness.