The widescale construction work which commenced at Tallinn Airport last spring is set to continue this year, as a result of which we ask passengers for their patience and understanding.
While the reconstruction of the air traffic area last year resulted in the extension of the runway to 3480 metres, the largest project this year will see the replacement of the surface covering along its entire length and of its system of approach lights. Tallinn Airport’s Director of Infrastructure Development Tõnu Mühle says that the runway as a whole needs a new layer of asphalt, since more than 20 years has passed since it was last sealed. “Laying new asphalt will mean the airport can continue to operate successfully for another two decades,” he said. The system of approach lights on the runway will be replaced with modern, environmentally friendly LED lighting that will minimise the impact on the airport’s operations of weather conditions producing limited visibility.
The resurfacing will be carried out primarily at night, with the runway being closed four nights a week, as per last year: from 00:30-6:00 on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays. Construction is due to commence on 4 April, from which date the runway will be shortened to 2330 metres.
“We’ve informed all of the airlines of these changes, and they’ve been taken into account in putting flight schedules together,” Mühle explained. “Like last year, none of this should affect passengers, provided flights are on schedule and aren’t late getting in to Tallinn. Last year, depending on the nature of the work being done, we were able to accommodate late arrivals at times, but the pace of work this year means we won’t be able to do that.” Tallinn Airport has extended the service hours of Tartu Airport, and starting from this summer pilots will be able to make use of Estonia’s second-largest city as an alternative in addition to Helsinki and Rīga, should they need to. “I should point out that it’s always the pilot’s call as to whether and what alternative airport to use, not the airport’s or the airline’s,” Mühle added. “Absolute safety is the pilot’s top priority, in the air and on the ground.”
The asphalting work will also see the expansion of the aircraft platform area and the reconstruction of rain water drains. As a result, there will be times during April and May when passengers are transported to their aircraft from the terminal by bus. “We’ll be closing the southern air bridges in April and the northern air bridges in May, so again we ask passengers for their understanding if they’re unable to board their aircraft directly from the terminal for a time,” Mühle said.
Work to extend the passenger terminal is continuing to schedule and will be completed by early June. The security check area will be relocating to a more convenient location ahead of Midsummer, boosting capacity significantly. The City of Tallinn and Merko Ehitus project to extend the tram line to the airport should be completed by the end of summer, with a gallery linking the tram stop to the terminal building to be constructed by October.