Located approximately 5km (3 miles) west of the centre of Vantaa, and 17km (10.6 miles) north of Helsinki’s city centre, Helsinki Vantaa International Airport (HEL) is Finland’s main international airport. It was first built for the Summer Olympics of 1952 and now serves an average of 12.5 million passengers per year.
Current renovations at Helsinki Airport, scheduled to be completed by the end of 2011, include a complete overhaul of the waiting lounge, baggage and check-in areas. The addition of several shops, cafes and restaurants is also set to enhance the airport, while the relocation of existing retail and dining establishments will improve passenger flow and free up space for more chairs in the seating areas. The airport building itself is divided into two terminals, separated by a distance of 250 metres (820 feet), and internal pedestrian connections offer quick transfers between them.
Helsinki Vantaa International Airport is clean and staff are helpful and friendly. Security checks and customs are generally quick.