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Helsinki-Vantaa Airport opens third runway

Travel News Asia 28 November 2002

Piloted by Captain Pekka Henttu, Finnair MD-11 flight AY005 from Helsinki to New York on 28 November at 2.15pm local time will remain in Finnish aviation history as the first flight to take off from the new third runway at Helsinki-Vantaa Airport.

There are very few projects going on in Europe where an airport is growing in this way, creating new opportunities for the smooth development of international traffic in good cooperation between different parties and with the customers' needs in mind, says Finnair COO and Executive Vice President of Scheduled Passenger Traffic, Henrik Arle.

As large airports continue to get congested, Mr Arle says that the new third runway at Helsinki-Vantaa ensures Finnair's edge in the competition for longhaul passengers. The additional capacity also creates opportunities to develop the current schedules for domestic and European flights in addition to ensuring smooth operations in difficult weather conditions and a minimum amount of delays.

The Captain of the historic flight, Pekka Henttu, is already on to his sixth aircraft type, having started at Finnair in 1976 flying the piston engined Convair Metropolitan. Captain Henttu praises the smooth surface of the new  runway and the technical quality and condition in general of Finnish airport runways when considering the difficult construction conditions.

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