Experts of winter maintenance gathered at Helsinki Airport

People & Aviation Travel
Published
25.2.2015 - 08:44
Press release
At the end of February, WOASE 2015, Winter Operations and Airside Safety, conference attracted almost 150 participants from over ten countries.

The conference gathered together airport winter experts and other experts in the industry to exchange information and learn from each other.

The snow-how, winter expertise, of Finavia's airports is renowned worldwide. Irrespective of the prevailing weather conditions in Finland, the runways of our airports are in summer condition ensuring smooth air traffic.

“We are proud that Helsinki Airport was selected to host the event. The interest is a testament to our expertise and forerunner status in managing winter conditions. Weather conditions have allowed us to hone our operations for decades, since winter conditions in Finland last five months every year,” says Heini Noronen-Juhola, Vice President, Aviation & Safety at Helsinki Airport, who was hosting the event.

Winters are harsh in Finland, so you must know how to deal with snow and ice. Finavia has developed 22 pre-planned operating models for various conditions.

“It is crucial to the functioning of air traffic in our country. It is a question of pride for us not to have to close airports when it snows as happens in many other countries,” says Noronen-Juhola.

Winter expertise is based on cooperation between various functions and technical know-how. Cooperation between airport maintenance, air traffic control and airlines as well as de-icing is smooth to pro-actively practised operating models.

Finavia has a fleet of over 300 units of special winter maintenance equipment around Finland. This fleet has been renewed in recent years with numerous purchases.

Large investments in de-icing areas

In addition to clearing of runways and general de-icing, de-icing of aircraft is an essential part of winter maintenance. In recent years, Finavia has paid particular attention in developing de-icing operations at all airports.

At Helsinki Airport, de-icing is performed at centralised de-icing areas, where water generated by de-icing can be effectively collected. De-icing operations were completely revamped in 2014.

As a whole, Finavia invested a total of EUR 55 million in de-icing areas of the airports in 2010–2015.
Good management of winter maintenance ensures accurate and safe take-offs and landings.
Last year, there were less than 0.5% of delays caused by airport operations.