January 28, 2016

Welcome to Finland – we’re always open!

Petra Kujala

Communications specialist, Finavia

Snow is a mainstay of Finnish winters, and not even severe cold spells slow us down. However, the snowstorms that hit Central Europe and the minus 30°C temperatures in southern Finland in January are still a rare treat even for this Nordic nation.

Even in heavy snowfalls, life must go on, goods must be moved and people must travel from one country to another.

We Finns aren’t too good at praising ourselves. Every winter, however, in the midst of a snowstorm, I find my pride rearing its head and find it almost inevitable to tell others, brag even, that here in Finland, at Finavia’s airports, we have the best ‘SnowHow’ in the world.

We have developed operating models planned in advance for various weather conditions, enabling seamless co-operation between airport units, no matter what the weather.

A total of 300 units of snow ploughs, blowers, sweepers and other special winter maintenance equipment can be found at Finavia’s 22 airports around Finland. At Helsinki Airport, our trump card is a 32-tonne blower-sweeper, nine of which plough the runway in a synchronised line.

We are proud of the fact that Helsinki Airport or any of our other airports do not need to be shut down due to snow, unlike in many other countries. We aim to serve 24 hours a day whatever the weather. And in that we have succeeded brilliantly: The last time Helsinki Airport was closed due to weather was in 2003 – for a total of 30 minutes.

We can also thank our exceptional SnowHow for enabling Helsinki Airport to become the type of leading transfer hub between Asia and Europe that it is. Northern Europe’s leading long-haul airport cannot afford to be at the mercy of the weather.

So, welcome to Finland – we’re always open!

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