Ongoing and Planned Airport Projects in Northern Europe (Part 2 of 2)

Max Groot


April 3, 2024

mod northern europe helsinki airport terminal

Helsinki Airport

© Finavia

In the first part of this report covering Northern European airport developments, we looked at the Nordics’ frozen north and Norway. Moving eastwards, how do Sweden, Finland, Denmark, and the Baltic States compare in terms of their airport expansion plans?


Before COVID19, Sweden’s main gateway, Stockholm’s Arlanda Airport (ARN), was considering expanding the capacity of its passenger terminal complex from 25 million to 40 million passengers annually. The main infrastructure change to achieve this was the planned addition of a new Pier G to Terminal 5.

Another project is the development of a 144,400-square-meter airport city development nearby focused on cargo, logistics, and manufacturing. In the long term, ARN—which carried 21.8 million passengers in 2023—is planning to build a fourth runway to add to the existing ones measuring 3,300 meters, 2,500 meters, and 2,500 meters.


Helsinki Vantaa (HEL), Finnair’s hub, has recently completed a major terminal expansion adding 103,000 square meters as part of a wider development program. The terminal expansion added eight new gates for widebody aircraft and increased the airport’s total capacity from 20 million passengers to 24 million per year.

HEL is currently building a new 16,000-square-meter DHL cargo facility, with 90 loading bays. The facility is scheduled to be completed in the second half of 2025. The new logistics center is DHL Express’s response to the increased air express deliveries with all incoming and outgoing express shipments in Finland passing through it.

mod northern europe Copenhagen Airport

The current expansion of Copenhagen Airport is scheduled to be completed in 2029.

© Københavns Lufthavne A/S


Copenhagen Airport (CPH) is in the process of renovating and expanding Terminal 3 with an 80,000 square meter expansion containing more retail and F&B, as well as a new baggage handling system. The project is scheduled to be completed in 2029. In the longer term, the airport plans to increase its capacity from 30 million to 40 million passengers annually with eventual potential for 55 million.

CPH’s operator will do this by rebuilding and extending existing infrastructure, as well as constructing a new boarding pier. To reduce noise in neighboring communities, runway 12/30 will be shortened by 600 meters to 2,200 meters and moved 300 meters to the southwest. In December 2023, the development plan was approved by the Danish parliament.

Elsewhere in Denmark, Billund Airport (BIL) in the west—and the gateway to Legoland—is developing Billund Airport City, focusing on commercial real estate and cargo/logistics. Around US$500 million will be invested between now and 2040.


By 2035, Tallinn’s Lennart Meri Airport (TLL) plans to have completed an extension of its boarding concourse and increased the number of close-contact stands from 13 to 26. The airport is also looking at developing an airport city.


Riga International Airport (RIX) is planning to build a new 45,000 square meter passenger terminal, with a capacity of 12 million annual passengers.

Other developments also include a new multi-level car park, a railway station connecting to Rail Baltica—an under-construction rail infrastructure project intended to integrate the Baltic States into the European rail network, and an airport city development.

The total investment for the RIX project is expected to top US$282 million, with completion scheduled for 2027.


Vilnius International Airport (VNO) is in the process of expanding its passenger terminal by 14,400 square meters. The expansion will double passenger throughput to 2,400 passengers per hour helped bythe renovation ofthe existing terminal. Construction is scheduled to be finalized in 2028.

A master plan from operator Lithuanian Airports aims to handle 17 million passengers across three airports in the country by 2052.

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mod northern europe Vilnius terminal facade

Masterplanning for Vilnius International Airport goes out to 2052.

© Lithuanian Airports