The extension of what is generally known as terminal 1 at Helsinki Vantaa airport is now open and ready for passenger use and this is especially good news for passengers travelling on regional flights operated by regional aircrafts such as the Finnair/Norra ATR-72.
The terminal extension is basically a new concourse starting close to gate 12 and includes 11 new gates named 1-11. There are no changes landside, the check-in areas and security controls are still the same. Also there are no facilities whatsoever in this new concourse other than restrooms. If you are looking for something to eat or need to do some shopping before your flight there is nothing available here.
But the great thing about the new concourse is that several more regional aircrafts now can get terminal positions in Helsinki. There are no jet bridges in this concourse but for several gates you can walk directly from the terminal building to the aircraft stairs and vice versa. Inside the terminal building there are stairs to get between the apron and the gate areas.
In the past if you arrived on or were to depart on a Finnair flight operated by an ATR-72 the probability of being taken to and from the aircraft by bus was nearly 100%. Now far more passengers will be able to get direct access to the terminal building upon arrival, saving both time and hassle not having to take a bus.
However it should be noted that even though not having to take a bus may save some time the walking distances are quite significant if you have a connecting flight to a non-Schengen destination or if you are connecting to a Schengen flight leaving from a high-numbered gate in the Schengen area such as gates 27-30.