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Helsinki Airport to close runway 1 due to coronavirus

Published : 24 Oct 2020, 22:32

  DF Report

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Photo: Finavia.

The Helsinki Airport will close its runway 1 for six months, from 1 November 2020 to 30 April 2021 following the decrease of flights significantly due to the coronavirus pandemic and strict travel restrictions, said Finavia, the company operates country´s airports in a press release.

​"It is sad that we have to close one of our runways for the second time this year. It is an indicator of the prevailing difficult situation in air traffic. There is no end in sight for the difficulties faced by the aviation industry," said Ulla Lettijeff, Airport Director at Finavia.

Out of the three runways of Helsinki Airport, the runway 3 remained closed for the last four months, from the beginning of April to the beginning of August.

The authority saw signs of recovery in air traffic during the summer, the autumn has gone but the coronavirus situation further deteriorated.

Strict travel restrictions have turned the number of flights downwards once again.

According to Lettijeff, estimates suggest there will be only 25 per cent of the normal number of flights during the winter. As a result the authority did not find any necessity to maintain full capacity.

The predicted total number of takeoffs and landings per day will be 100–150, whereas the normal number is more than 500 operations per day.

The change also reflected on the aircraft types as airlines are now using small, low-noise ATR and Embraer planes relatively more than before.

During the closure of runway 1 in the winter, runway 3 will be primarily used for takeoffs and landings. In addition, aircraft will also land on runway 2 when the maintenance situation allows.