The large-scale reconstruction and expansion work of the air traffic area begins on 1 May at Tallinn Airport, which might lead to disruptions on nighttime flight operations within the next year and a half, but those disruptions will not affect regular air Traffic.
According to Tallinn Airport Operation Director and board member Einar Bambus, the airport and the contractor promise to do everything in their power to make any disruptions due to the construction activities as small as possible for passengers. “Reconstruction of the air traffic area is one of the largest recent construction projects in Estonia because in addition to the construction work, we must also ensure flight safety and regular functioning of flight operations”, stated Bambus. “For scheduled flights, errors should not occur in air traffic but in the event of delays, circumstances may arise where a delayed flight is redirected to land in Helsinki or Riga instead of Tallinn Airport,” added Bambus. All the airlines and airport partners and other relevant bodies will be notified of the disruptions promptly. The disruptions have already been taken into account in the summertime flight Schedule.
Tallinn Airport will remain open during the extension and reconstruction work of the air traffic area but a significant part of the construction work will be carried out on the existing runway, and disruptions of flight operations may occur from 2016 to 2017. Disruptions apply in particular to nighttime flight operations during which the airport is closed to air traffic from 00:30 to 06:00 on specific nights during the spring, summer and autumn periods of 2016 and 2017. In the course of various interim stages of the construction work, the length of the runway will be amended on several occasions. The first runway reconfiguration will take place from 02.05.2016, when the runway will be shortened to 2570 metres – on that night, the runway will be closed to traffic from 0:30 to 6:00.
This year, the runway is closed for flight operations four nights a week from 00:30 to 06:00 and will remain open to air traffic on three nights a week (Tue/Wed; Fri/Sat; Sat/Sun). Next year, the runway will remain closed for four to five nights a week. The nighttime opening hours of the runway shall be specified in the course of negotiations with flight operators to ensure as little impact as possible on daily air Traffic.
Within the framework of the project, the 20-year old surface structure of the existing runway will be rebuilt, the runway expanded to 3480 metres and the taxiways and aircraft platform area infrastructure improved. In the course of the construction, the current airport lighting system will be replaced with new energy-efficient and environmentally-friendly solutions, and more advanced navigation solutions will be installed.
To improve the environmental status, an additional de-icing area will be built at the east side of the airport, environmentally compliant snow melting sites will be built, and melted snow discharge and monitoring systems as well as a proper plane engine testing area will be built.
The development project will help raise the safety level of Tallinn Airport and enhance environmentally sustainable and efficient management of the airport. The construction work is carried out by Lemminkäinen Eesti AS and half of the construction cost is covered by the European Union’s Cohesion Fund. The construction work must be ready by the end of 2017.