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Ivalo Airport water treatment improved as a part of the expansion

Article published
17.10.2019 at 09:00
The northernmost airport in Finland pays special attention to the protection of the Ivalojoki River.

Good environmental work and collaboration are part of Finavia’s corporate responsibility. The Sum of Good Things article series highlights details of Finavia’s responsibility work. This article focuses on the improvements on the water treament system at Ivalo airport.

As a part of Finavia’s 55-million-euro investment in connectivity and tourism in Lapland, Ivalo Airport has undergone an extensive renovation to expand the terminal and add space for aircraft.

In the meantime, the water treatment at the airport has been improved. The treatment of storm waters with de-icing liquids was improved at the new aircraft parking spaces, and an area with structures was built to protect the soil from glycerol-containing melting snow.

“As part of the apron expansion, we built a new type of glycol water collection system. We collect as much glycol used in de-icing as we can with this new system, to prevent it from streaming to the near-by waters,” says Jarmo Pyhäjärvi, Ivalo Airport manager.

There’s a 50-cube buffer container in the glycol water collection system into which all the new apron’s de-icing water is channelled. Any water containing glycol will be further channelled to the local wastewater cleaning system.

The new double-water system measures the water’s glycol concentration with sensors installed in the wells. When the water is clean enough, it is channelled back to soil through the storm water treatment system.

Constant control of water treatment

The aim of glycol collection is to prevent it from getting into soil and, hence, to Ivalojoki river’s draining system. The new collection system improves Ivalo Airports water management.

The final instalments of the system were done last summer, and this winter we will get actual user experience. Glycol snow will still be collected from the old aircraft parking space to prevent it from getting to the drainage system,” says Pyhäjärvi.

Constant quality control forms an essential part of Ivalo Airport water treatment. As the sub-zero weather lasts longer in the North, and there are more flights in the winter, de-icing liquids are used for a longer period than in Southern Finland.

Employees prefer a winter with a lot of snow.

“Snow is a nice element which we prefer to the cold rain showersand it’s also a lot easier to remove than water,” says Pyhäjärvi.

A good time for tourism

The expanded Ivalo Airport is doing well. Passenger numbers are increasing and the tourist services in Lapland are becoming better and better.

“The previous three to four years have been a good time for Northern Lapland. There is an extensive hotel project taking place in Utsjoki, and another luxury hotel is being planned at Inari,” says Pyhäjärvi.

Ivalo Airport has prepared for growth by making investments to match the demand for several years. The British political situation, however, sets a bit of a shadow for the growth.

“Brexit is a threat for the future Christmas charter flights as there are normally quite a lot of British passengers in the Christmas time. Fortunately, the distribution of passengers from different countries and continents is also on the rise, so we are not too worried,” concludes Pyhäjärvi.

Read more on the expanded Ivalo Airport