Helsinki airport is the main international airport of Helsinki, Finland. The airport is located in Vantaa, about 17 kilometers (9 NM) north of Helsinki city area. The airport is owned by Finavia.

Helsinki Airport is the largest in Finland. When comparing to other Nordic countries, the airport is fourth busiest in terms of passenger numbers. The airport handled roughly 21 million passengers in 2018.

Location Vantaa
Hub for Finnair, Norwegian, CityJet
Elevation 180 FT (55 m)
Time zone UTC +2 (UTC +3)

Helsinki has its challenges with the rapid growing amount of passengers. Both of the terminals were expanded in year 2019 to accommodate more passengers. Helsinki is a known gateway between Europe and Asia.

Within the Nordic countries, Finland has its "unique" way of controlling air traffic. Some may find ATC clearances a bit weird at times. But that's the fun part.

Charts & flight procedures

Click here to download aeronautical charts for Helsinki


The airport has three runways in total, 04L/R, 22L/R and 15/33. Helsinki has it's own preferential runway system, where the air traffic controller decides what runways to use according to the wind component and weather conditions. Runway 15 is used for departures and runway 33 for landings only in exceptional cases based on ATC consideration.

Helsinki Ground is responsible for taxi clearances within the ATC Service Boundary presented on the aerodrome chart. When taiing in Helsinki, please note that several taxiways are marked with two letters, e.g. AD. Pay close attention to your taxi clearance, since it's easy to mix between e.g. A and D, instead of AD.

Low Visibility Procedures (LVP) will become effective when the RVR value decreases to 600 meters or the vertical visibility is less than 200 feet. Usually the use of LVP is noted in the ATIS. All runways in Helsinki are approved for Low Visibility Procedures for Take-off (LVPTO). Runways 04L and 22R are approved for CAT3 approaches.

Departure - IFR

Preferred departure runway (in order):
22R, 22L, 04R, 33, 04L, 15

En-route clearance can be obtained up to 25 minutes prior to estimated start-up. Please include your aircraft type, location and the designator of the last received ATIS when requesting the clearance. You may also request to use other runway than stated in the ATIS. Your request may be approved according to the traffic situation. The en-route clearance will consist of clearance limit, runway, departure route, Squawk code (and EOBT).

Initial climb on all SID's is 4000ft.

Arrival - IFR

Preferred landing runway (in order):
15, 22L, 04L, 04R, 22R, 33

In high traffic density, you should consider vacating the runway using one of the following turn-offs, if no other instructions are given by ATC.

Classification RWY 04L RWY 04R RWY 22L RWY 22R RWY 15 RWY 33

If conducting a visual approach, please maintain at least 2000 FT until DME 7 HEL and established on the final approach track. This is due to possible VFR traffic flying below. Visual approaches are not approved during night time.

Pilots are reminded that rapid exit from the runway enables ATC to apply minimum spacing on final approach. This will achieve a maximum runway utilization and will minimize the occurrence of go-around.

Aircraft landed at runway 22L shall not vacate via taxiway ZG unless otherwise instructed by ATC.

The RNAV STAR routes in Helsinki are not connected to the initial approach fixes. Arrivals can expect to be cleared for approach via the last waypoint, or vectored to final approach track. If no instructions are given after passing the last waypoint of the arrival route, the aircraft shall continue on heading (indicated on the RNAV STAR map).

Parking positions

The below table can be used as a general guideline for choosing parking positions at the airport.

Gate Usage Airlines
5-11 Medium, turboprop FIN (Norra), BTI, SAS
12-31 European flights, Schengen FIN, IBK, KLM, DLH
APN 1W, 1S International flights, non-Schengen FIN, JAL, DKH, TBA, CSC
APN 1N Medium, Schengen FIN, IBK, AUI
APN 2 Cargo (heavy B747/A380 stand 222) THY, AEG, NEF, PSW
APN 3 General aviation, business (private medium stand 352) Private
APN 4 Medium cargo flights, Helicopters UPS, DHL, TAY, FDX

Helsinki Control zone is divided in two parts, CTR North and CTR south. The Control Zone has five VFR compulsory reporting points. VFR traffic in CTR North shall stay at or below 1000 feet unless otherwise instructed by ATC. You will get instructions how to enter the traffic circuit with the inbound clearance.

Malmi Airport (EFHF) is located below Helsinki CTR South.

Reporting point OGELI shall not be used for a flight between Helsinki (EFHK) and Malmi (EFHF).


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