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A new air traffic control centre for greater efficiency and safety

Published
21.1.2015 at 07:00
This January, Helsinki Airport inaugurated a new air traffic control centre, bringing together many of the functions essential for air traffic.

In addition to approach control and area control functions, the centre covers rescue co-ordination functions and briefing services.

The unit is to be staffed by 180 professionals.

'We are in charge of the operations at Helsinki Airport and all traffic falling under the responsibility of area control,' explains Karri Hannula, the head of Air Traffic Control.

The centre handles both the air traffic at Helsinki Airport and that between Finnish airports, along with all flights through Finnish airspace.

Even greater safety

This air traffic control centre enhances the safety of all traffic still further.

Air traffic control can now utilise a complete set of backup facilities for all functions: aerodrome control, approach control, and area control.

'Our technical systems are among the best in the world in many ways, and their technical reliability was a core area of focus in the renovation project,' Hannula emphasises.

One of the aims in the new air traffic control centre's planning was to create an integrated unit that is as efficient as possible in the context seen in Finland. At the same time, ensuring that the safety of all air traffic remains optimal was imperative.

'The new centre enables us to offer cost-effective air traffic control services,' adds Hannula.

Tampere to Helsinki

Finland has two air traffic control centres; one at Helsinki Airport and the other in Tampere.

Some functions were transferred from the Tampere centre to Helsinki Airport in January. Decisions on whether to continue two-city operations are scheduled for 2018.

The preliminary plans consider an option of consolidating all operations at Helsinki Airport.

Photo: Tomi Lindblom

People & Aviation