The large-scale construction work which began on the air traffic area at Tallinn Airport in May has come to an end for this year. As of today the airport’s runway measures 3480 metres, making it the longest runway for civil aviation in the Baltic States.
Tõnu Mühle, the director of infrastructure development at Tallinn Airport, says that a very important stage in the construction work came to an end last night. “Hats off to the contractor, Lemminkäinen, and their subcontractors – they’ve really given their all in difficult conditions and in a very short space of time to keep to schedule and make sure air traffic has been 100% safe the whole time the construction work’s been going on,” he said.
The work that was undertaken in summer and autumn brought with it restrictions on night flying, albeit without impacting on planned flights in any way. Tallinn Airport will be reinstating the restrictions in 2017 when more vital work is launched – the reconstruction of the existing runway’s protective structure and the replacement of its lighting system.
The work carried out this year involved the extension of the runway and main taxiway in an easterly direction and the installation of a new system of navigational lights. From the point of view of flight safety it is important that the safety area surrounding the newly extended runway has a reinforced surface that reduces the risk of injury should an aircraft veer off the runway.
In the course of construction a total of 60 km of new cable piping has been laid, 100 km of new cables have been installed, 400 new navigation lights have been fitted, 10 km of new rain water drainage has been put in place (including 260 new wells) and 3 km of new drainage canals have been dug. In connection with the substantial widening of the air traffic area the security area of the airport has expanded by 41 ha, and around 5 km of new service roads have been constructed.
The Soviet-era concrete fence enclosing the airport has now been demolished and replaced with the latest security fencing. The work that has been carried out in 2016 has seen the laying of around 45,000 tonnes or 325,000 m2 of asphalt and around 4000 m3 of concrete.
The eastern end of the airport will soon be home to an additional de-icing area, an aircraft motor testing area and new standing areas for planes. Work on snow collection areas and the construction of new rain water systems is due to continue next year.
The air traffic area project involves the reconstruction of the existing runway’s protective structure, the extension of the runway to a total length of 3480 metres and improvements to taxiways and the aircraft platform area system. The construction work will include the replacement of the system of lights currently in use on the airfield with more energy-efficient and environmentally friendly systems and the installation of approach light and navigation systems of a higher category.
To improve environmental status, an additional de-icing area will be built at the eastern end of the airport, snow-melting sites will be established and melted snow discharge and monitoring systems and an aircraft engine testing area meeting all requirements will be constructed.
The development project will boost Tallinn Airport’s flight safety level, help make the airport more environmentally sustainable and increase the efficiency of its operations. Construction work is being carried out by Lemminkäinen Eesti AS, with half of the costs being covered from the resources of the Cohesion Fund of the European Union. All construction work must be completed by the end of 2017.