20.04.2015 13:09

The rise of the new cargo terminal

After 15 months of planning and applying for permits – both internal and externally – the construction of Finnair’s state-of-the-art cargo terminal can finally start.

Within the next two years, we will inaugurate the most modern cargo terminal in Europe right at Finnair’s home base, Helsinki Airport. What makes it so contemporary? Three features: space solutions, warehouse automation, and production management system.

First of all, the terminal’s 31,000 square meters are divided into three zones: 25,000 square meters is reserved for general cargo handling, and two spaces for temperature-controlled zones, roughly 3,000 square meters each. One of these temperature-controlled zones is dedicated for pharmaceutical shipments with one section set at 20 degrees Celsius, and a separate space between 2 and 8 degrees Celsius or colder.

The other temperature-controlled zone, with generic storage temperature of 2 degrees Celsius, is for foodstuffs and perishables. The thermostat can also be adjusted for goods requiring storage at 2 to 8 degrees Celsius or colder.

Furthermore, storage automation is designed to support Finnair’s cargo flows, especially transit traffic. Automation will enable efficient cargo handling, whether in transit, or at the time of acceptance and delivery.

With the new terminal, Finnair also moves to an advanced era of planning and steering cargo flows. This requires that all elements are included in the production management system. Therefore, trucks, forklifts, container building and unloading, as well as airport transfers are all controlled with a new IT system in order to optimize efficiency. Similar features are already individually available at other airports, but we are proud to say that Finnair’s terminal will house all of these under one roof.

In recent months we have fine-tuned the terminal concept so that it perfectly fits Finnair’s material handling. Many changes have been made – and some are probably still needed – but now we have finalized the main design. 

Much like the concept, the building site and its location have also shifted. Finding the right location in an airport where everything affects everything else has required great effort. The main challenge has been to relocate the test run area of aircraft engines. As the picture shows, the new terminal will partially occupy the old test run area, and as a result, the stone-built sound barrier needs to be removed. Additionally, the borders of the site have moved around for various reasons, including the infrastructure of the area, changes in International Civil Aviation Organization’s (ICAO) security regulations, as well as the overall plan for the area.  

After this extensive planning, we are now extremely happy to start the construction work. I will keep you informed on our progress as this giant project moves forward.


Photo by Milla Nyholm