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Air traffic control is slightly different at Tampere-Pirkkala Airport

Article published
26.5.2015 at 06:00
Air traffic controller working, surrounded by monitors.
Tampere-Pirkkala Airport is one of the three major airports in Finland. The work of its air traffic controllers is characterised by the activities of the nearby Satakunta Air Command.

When air traffic controller and Chief ATC Jussi Inkeroinen climbs the air control tower at Tampere-Pirkkala, he steps into a multi-faceted role, as this airport's air traffic control work combines many functions that the other airports cover only partially.

'Our work comprises the commercial air traffic of Helsinki, military air traffic of Rovaniemi, training activities of Pori, as well as ultralight aviation and parachuting', Jussi Inkeroinen explains.

Tampere-Pirkkala Airport's air traffic control is responsible for many types of air traffic and aircraft of greatly differing sizes. The quantity and quality of air traffic also varies considerably depending on the day of the week and time of the day.

'Air traffic controllers must know the weather conditions and upcoming forecast as accurately as possible, especially in winter, with regard to any ice and snow on the way. Weather affects runway conditions significantly', he continues.

In collaboration with area control

Jussi Inkeroinen has worked in air traffic control for some 15 years. The field has undergone significant changes during that time: these days all actions and contacts are mostly electronic, whereas previously phone calls were the norm.

'We are in continuous contact with area control but don't spend as much time on phone anymore, as most matters are handled through computers', Jussi Inkeroinen says. 'Information on aircraft routes, speeds, and other details is transferred electronically. Nowadays, typing and IT expertise are rather crucial to us'.

A nice place to work

An air traffic controller's work is demanding, and therefore a good atmosphere at the office is important. Air traffic control is a key part of Finavia's service chain, and its main purpose is to ensure passengers reach their destinations safely. Day after day, a great deal of work is carried out between air traffic control units and airports' operational teams, with the help of strong mutual support.

'The support of the work community is essential, and at Tampere-Pirkkala Airport it functions as it's supposed to', Jussi Inkeroinen affirms.

People & Aviation