Finavia, the airport company overseeing Helsinki Airport, is on the cusp of wrapping up its 10-year development program set to conclude in autumn 2023. As a pivotal component of this endeavor, the modernization of baggage logistics has been finalized to enhance the efficiency of travel. Both departure and arrival baggage systems, alongside new facilities and equipment, have been successfully implemented.

The primary objective is to furnish airlines and ground handling entities at the airport with tools, resources, and systems to expedite and streamline baggage management. Passengers can expect these enhancements to manifest in smoother operations and more reliable deliveries. "Our goal is to provide the airlines and ground handling companies operating on our premises with facilities, equipment and systems that speed up and streamline baggage handling," explains Jani Elasmaa, VP of Finavia responsible for apron and runway operations at Helsinki Airport.

This development in baggage logistics has led to a 50% increase in the capacity to handle departing baggage, while arrivals are now served through a centralized baggage claim hall. The automation of the baggage route, from check-in to cargo hold, has enabled the processing of nearly 15,000 bags per hour.

Located within Helsinki Airport, the baggage handling center has seen its processing capacity rise by 5,000 bags per hour, an expansion facilitated by an additional 10,000 square meters of processing area and over three kilometers added to the baggage line's length. Additionally, the Baggage Hotel – an automated storage for early bags – has seen its storage spaces grow by a thousand.

During this summer, the new centralised baggage claim hall has also been completed at Helsinki Airport. This expansive hall spans 12,000 square meters and houses nine baggage carousels and two lines for special baggage.

The consolidation of inbound baggage handling into a singular area is anticipated to heighten efficiency for airlines and ground handling entities. With resources no longer divided between various terminals or lobbies, a centralized experience is achieved for passengers as all baggage is retrieved from one common lobby.

The successful reforms undertaken by Finavia have not gone unnoticed on the global stage. The Airport Council International (ACI) named Helsinki Airport the best European airport of 2023 within its size category. This distinction was attributed to the terminal's operational efficiency and the successful merger of two terminals into a single, centralized terminal.

Overall, the Helsinki Airport Development Program has introduced numerous technical innovations and improvements aimed at bolstering the seamless flow of baggage. By leveraging new technology and digital methods, ground handling companies' operations are facilitated. "When the entire baggage logistics chain operates reliably, baggage gets swiftly transported onto the plane and from the plane to the terminal," elaborates Jani Elasmaa.

Helsinki Airport Baggage Logistics Highlights:

  • Hourly capacity: 14,800 baggage per hour (departing and transfers)
  • Baggage handling center size: 28,000 square meters
  • Baggage Hotel storage space: 2,400
  • Baggage lines: 15 kilometers
  • Baggage claim hall size: 12,000 square meters (arrivals)
  • Baggage claim carousels: 9 units + 2 special baggage lines