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NEWS Last modified on September 10, 2015

First landings on Helsinki's newly refurbished runway

No, you are not seeing things, the people above were among the first landings on Helsinki Airport's newly renovated runway... hours before the planes arrived!

Their once-in-a-lifetime opportunty to pose for selfies on Runway 1 came courtesy of airport operator, Finavia, which decided to allow a few dozen of its friends and followers onto the pristine new landing strip a few hours before it re-opened after refurbishment this summer.

The lucky few included the airport's most avid social media followers and others labelled "friends of aviation and neighbours of Helsinki Airport".

Runwayopening4 2

The overhaul of Helsinki's main three-kilometre long runway, first commissioned in 1952, took three months to complete.

"A runway is a stretch of road planned and realised with great care," says the airport's vice president, Heini Noronen-Juhola.

"In the case of Runway 1, its 40 to 50cm thick asphalt surface hides all sorts of structures, 30km of cables and 2,000 light fixtures."

Finavia says the revamp cost €18 million and involved a hundred sub-contractor workers.

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Joe Bates

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