EIB funding Helsinki Airport €150 million expansion plans
Finavia Corporation, a Finnish airport company, and the European Investment Bank (EIB) have signed a loan agreement of €150 million in Helsinki today. The financing will be used for phase IV of Helsinki Airport’s expansion plans, featuring the extension of Terminal 2 with new arrivals and departures halls, new gates, increased border control capacity, and better connections to public transport and taxi services.
The project is expected to alleviate bottlenecks in the Schengen area, as well as between the airport and the rail, bus and taxi services, thus enhancing links to public transportation. The financing will also allow Finavia to expand the baggage handling system and passport control areas, with the objective of smoother transit of passengers and luggage. With these interventions, Helsinki Airport’s annual capacity is expected to rise to about 30 million passengers per year.
At the signing ceremony, EIB Vice-President Alexander Stubb remarked: “HEL never freezes, and neither does its traffic. Helsinki Airport probably has some of the most extreme conditions of any major international airport and it’s nothing short of amazing how Finavia deals with this, while smoothly transiting millions of passengers per year. The EIB’s backing will allow the airport to cope with the expected increase in passenger numbers in a rational and sustainable way. We’re very proud to support this.”
The works will see the creation of a new departures hall with 76 check-in desks and a new arrivals hall. On the ‘airside’ the border control area will be expanded to include 24 passport check lines and 20 automated kiosks for both arrivals and departures. On the ‘landside’, apart from the remodelling of the bus and taxi area, a new tunnel connection to the ring rail connection will be built. Finally, new parking facilities will be opened, with 1,800 new parking spots.
CEO of Finavia Kimmo Mäki said: “As the number one networked hub in the Nordic region, our aim is to offer passengers good and smooth connections worldwide. We want to stand out by providing an exceptionally good customer experience and sustainable operations at Helsinki Airport.”
Apart from creating employment during the construction phase, once completed the entire airport expansion is expected to contribute to the creation of up to 5,000 permanent jobs at Helsinki Airport.
The European Investment Bank (EIB) is the long-term lending institution of the European Union owned by its Member States. It makes long-term finance available for sound investment in order to contribute towards EU policy goals. In 2018, the Bank made available nearly €1.8 billion in loans for Finnish projects.
Finavia is the public limited company responsible for maintaining and developing Finland’s airport network. It oversees 21 airports around the country, and is owned by the Finnish Government. In 2018, 25 million passengers used Finavia’s airports, with Helsinki Airport, Finavia’s main airport, accounting for 20.8 million of those. Helsinki Airport is an important transfer hub in Northern Europe, especially for Asian transit passengers.