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NEWS Last modified on January 14, 2019

Volunteers to test out Helsinki's new central square ahead of its opening

Helsinki Airport is on the look out for 200 volunteers to experience its new Aukio central square before it opens for business in February.

Described by Finavia as one of the most impressive new spaces of Helsinki Airport, the new central square will provide arriving and departing passengers with their first and last impressions of Finland.

Airport director, Joni Sundelin, says: “Participants in the test will get a unique chance to see the new facilities of Helsinki Airport before anyone else.

"We will test the functionality of services and passenger journeys, and especially the state-of-the-art security check with a full body scanner, which is the first of its kind in Finland."
Helsinki Airport
The 200 volunteers will have to fit different profiles types – people who travel often or for the first time; with children; or, passenger with reduced mobility.

During the test day on February 6, participants will also get to experience the airport’s apron area, where access for the public is usually limited and enjoy lunch at the brand new Ajisen Ramen restaurant, originating from Kumamoto in Japan.

Customer experience and user-centred design 

The opening of Aukio is part of Helsinki Airport's ongoing capacity-enhancing expansion programme, which will continue into the early 2020s.

Finavia notes that the test day is an important part of putting the newest facilities to use, and that the participants "will provide important feedback that will help Finavia to continue to offer a smooth travel experience."

Helsinki Airport T2 visualisation 06 plaza 0
“In 2017, we opened the South Pier extension as part of the Development Programme and offered volunteers a chance to test it out beforehand. The test day was a great success,” Sundelin says.

It is important for Finavia that the companies and staff at Helsinki Airport are also part of the developing work. In this, Finavia uses a user-driven virtual model.

“With the virtual model, we can engage important stakeholders in the planning even better. In this way, they will be more committed to our future and understand the changes that the expansion will bring about. Helsinki Airport is one of the first airport operators in the world to use 3D modelling on such a large scale.”

The new central square Aukio

According to Finavia, Aukio will be an architecturally impressive space.

Decorated with Finnish wood, its rugged wall and ceiling structures will set a striking backdrop for many kinds of events and phenomena.

The airport poiints out that Aukio is part of Helsinki Airport’s long-haul area expansion, designed by PES-Architects.

Various facilities, such as modern security control, shops, restaurants and new services that provide passengers with a special experience will be located around Aukio.

It will add 25,000 square metres of new passenger and baggage facilities to the airport as well as a connection to the South Pier for arriving passengers.

“We will do our utmost to keep the customer experience high during ongoing expansions," says Sundelin.

"We are determined to maintain our competitive advantages such as short distances, easy access to services and a world-class standard of service even as the number of passengers continues to rise."

 

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