The largest investment project of the last decade is coming to an end at Tallinn Airport. The total cost of the project aimed at improving the aviation safety, capacity and environmental status (2012–2023) is 74 million euros, of which 35 million euros are co-funded by the Cohesion Fund.
According to Riivo Tuvike, the Chairman of the Management Board at Tallinn Airport, the development and expansion works are necessary to respond to the tight competition between airports and create the best possible conditions for the development of Estonia’s aviation sector. “We want to be an attractive destination for airlines, aircraft service companies and cargo companies. The development of the southern areas of the airport is part of our bigger development plan, according to which new aircraft service hangars and a cargo area will be established there in the long term,” Tuvike said, adding that the new developments will help increase the capacity of the airport, leaving the apron area around the terminal entirely for passenger service in the future.
As a result of the construction works, a new apron area and new taxiways in the south were opened to aircraft in November, and the de-icing area and engine testing area in the east were expanded. The southern ring road was opened for patrol and maintenance vehicles.
According to Tuvike, one of the main goals of the development work was to reduce the environmental impact of the airport. “During the project, extensive and complicated rainwater systems were built, which will resolve the problem of excess water formulation. In addition, oil separators were installed and a warehouse was built for the storage and handling of the de-icing chemicals.”
The contractors of the completed construction stage were KMG Inseneriehituse AS and Verston OÜ.
According to Veiko Veskimäe, the head of Verston OÜ, it is remarkable that the airport decided in favour of such a large-scale investment project during the economically difficult times for the entire tourism sector. “The leaders of Tallinn Airport set a good example here with their bold and forward-looking decision, to create favourable growth conditions for Estonia for the time when the crisis is over and the world reopens. Thanks to that, the object was completed more favourably, local companies got a job in difficult times and Estonia will get even bigger through more connections,” Veskimäe said.
Marko Pikk, the main project manager at KMG Inseneriehitus, pointed out that the project was one of the most complex challenges that have been taken up so far. “We had to work without interrupting the air traffic, to ensure smooth operation of the airport throughout the construction period. As design was also part of the contract in addition to construction works, BIM modelling became an important tool in planning, and high demands were set on the capability and professionalism of the project team. The airport is a well-informed and demanding customer, and engineering and environmentally friendly solutions were very important. During the implementation of the airport project, a total of 5180 tons of CO₂ was saved during the works with innovative engineering solutions.”
The development project of the airside area was implemented in several stages in 2012–2021, the last activities will last until 2023.