“Tampere Airport is currently experiencing steady growth and increasing passenger numbers. Airlines have added departures and we even have new destinations coming up,” says Mari Nurminen, Airport Director and Area Manager at Finavia.
For example, SAS will start flying to the Finnish favourite destination Malaga on 13 October. The route will be operated on Saturdays with SAS’ environmentally effective Airbus 320neo aircrafts.
All in all, approximately 122,000 passengers travelled through Tampere Airport during the first half-year (1 January–30 June 2018). Almost 64 per cent of them flew on international flights. The growth is mainly due to international traffic (+19%). The passenger numbers for domestic flights decreased (-18%) from last year.
Nurminen is satisfied with the situation, as the airport is currently undergoing a major investment programme. Finavia is investing over MEUR 17 in renewing the Tampere air traffic areas.
“Besides the MEUR 15 modernisation and development investment, we are also carrying out an additional MEUR 2 investment as we are renewing the runway instrument landing system (ILS) and developing the precision approach procedures. They improve the air traffic’s operational possibilities even in bad weather conditions. Our airport will be fit for many years to come,” she continues.
A runway is not just any road
Exceptional durability is expected of runways. An aircraft whizzes by on the runway at approximately 250 kilometres per hour, and the biggest planes weigh ten times more than a fully-loaded articulated lorry. The runway is subject to enormous single point stress as the aircraft’s tyres hit the runaway repeatedly.
There are a lot of power and communications cables under the 2,700-metre-long Tampere Airport runway. More than 10 kilometres of cable work is accumulated during the construction. 60,000 tons of asphalt is used for the surfacing, which would surface a motorway with several lanes both ways for 20 kilometres.
During the construction, an asphalt plant will work at the site and more than 100 workers will join the construction. The modernisation is carried out as ecologically as possible. For example, the old structures of the runway, blast stones and crushed stones are utilised elsewhere at the airport area. This avoids unnecessary lorry traffic.
Finavia has invested more than MEUR 24 in developing Tampere Airport in the past few years
Finavia has previously renewed the passenger areas at both terminals and executed, among other things, a large project for improving the environment. The development programme that kicked off in April focuses on ensuring the air traffic capacity and smooth operation.
Besides the passenger numbers, the number of operations also keeps growing. By the end of June, there were 25 per cent more take-offs and landings than during the same time period last year.
“2017 was incredible for operations as they grew by an astounding 60 per cent since Patria moved to Tampere,” Nurminen says.
The air traffic in Tampere will take a month-long break during July and August as the runway must be temporarily closed due to the construction. The airport will be reopened on 12 August.
Tampere Airport development and modernisation programme in a nutshell
|The surfaced area||330,000 m² (50 football fields)|
|Apron expansion||22,000 m²|
|Two new runway turning points||8,000 m²|
|Soil protection for de-icing||8,000 m²|
|Power cables||10,000 m|
|Asphalt mixture||60,000 tonnia|
|A new taxiway||150 m|
|New led lights||150 pcs|
|New glycol pumping plants||2 pcs|
|A new ILS system||1 pc|
|Workers at the construction site||100 people|