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Here’s Why Finnair is Weighing Passengers at Helsinki Airport

Passengers at Helsinki Airport may soon find themselves weighing in as part of Finnair‘s latest data collection project. The airline is taking a proactive approach to aviation safety by determining travelers’ average weight and the weight of their carry-on bags. This vital information helps ensure a perfectly balanced flight every time.

Finnair weighing passengers at Helsinki Airport
Credit: Finnair

Finnair’s Innovative Approach to Data Collection in 2024

From February to late spring, Finnair will seek assistance from passengers at Helsinki Airport who are willing to participate in weight surveys. This volunteer program is central to gathering accurate data for better inflight balance.

Join the Volunteer Weigh-In: Enhancing Flight Safety

Are you flying from Helsinki? You could contribute to airline safety advancements by joining Finnair’s voluntary weigh-ins at your departure gate. It’s quick, anonymous, and only for the mathematical magic that keeps planes balanced.

Understanding the Balance of Flight

Taking off safely means keeping the plane’s weight within strict limits. Everything on board contributes to this total—from the plane to the last suitcase in the hold. Until now, airlines relied on average weights for passengers and personal luggage provided by aviation authorities. Finnair, however, chooses to base its figures on actual data from its travelers.

Regular Updates for Regulatory Compliance

Regulations require airlines to update their average weight calculations every five years. Finnair’s commitment to regulatory adherence and passenger safety is evident as it launches this weight assessment, updating its statistics from previous studies conducted in 2017 and 2018.

Keeping Flights Safe with Weight Measurements

Have you ever wondered about the technicalities that ensure a safe flight? One crucial aspect is the aircraft’s balance; Finnair has started weighing passengers to maintain it. But don’t worry; it’s all about keeping your journey safe and has nothing to do with personal data.

Satu Munnukka, Head of Ground Processes at Finnair, explains that weighing data is used for necessary average calculations crucial for the flight’s safety. She reassures that “the collected data is not linked in any way to the customer’s personal data.” This means your identity remains yours and yours alone.

How the Process Works

When you volunteer for this, Finnair’s team measures your total weight and your carry-on bags. “We record the total weight and background information of the customer and their carry-on baggage, but we do not ask for the name or booking number, for example. Only the customer service agent working at the measuring point can see the total weight, so you can participate in the study with peace of mind,” Munnukka adds.

What Happens to the Data?

After weighing volunteers, the average weights are sent to the Finnish Transport and Communications Agency, Traficom, for confirmation. Once Traficom verifies the weights, they’ll be used for aircraft balance and loading calculations from 2025 to 2030.

Where and When

The weighing area will travel around Helsinki Airport, focusing on specific flights. It spans both Schengen area European flights and select long-haul flights.

What Is Recorded?

Volunteers, rest assured that “we weigh volunteer customers together with their carry-on baggage. In the measurement, we do not ask for personal data, but the total weight of the customer and carry-on baggage, the customer’s age, gender, and travel class are recorded in the database. No information is collected that would allow participants to be identified,” assures Munnukka.

The Goal of Taking Measurements

The intention is straightforward: to gather accurate information to ensure the aircraft is perfectly balanced. “In the previous measurements five years ago, a good number of volunteers wanted to participate. We hope to have a good sample of volunteers, both business and leisure travelers, also this time,” Munnukka said, highlighting the importance of volunteer diversity.

So next time you see a weighing station at Helsinki Airport, remember it’s there to keep your flights safe. And if you choose to participate, you’re contributing to air travel safety – without sacrificing your privacy.


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