Business booming at revamped Tallinn airport
Due to an unexpected rise in passenger numbers, combined with Estonia’s need to meet Schengen area requirements, the passenger terminal at Tallinn airport has undergone a major redevelopment. The work was completed in August 2008 with the development comprising enhanced security facilities, nine passenger bridges, 14 free internet kiosks and free wireless internet, and the extension and modernisation of the terminal building northbound and southbound.
“Congratulations to Tallinn Airport on your new and very comfortable building... I found the security staff very helpful and friendly. Such an attitude is often underestimated, but it is highly appreciated, even by experienced passengers. Thank you for this experience!“
Comment from passenger
The new T-shaped terminal is twice as large as before, with 14 000 m2 of operating space added to the existing passenger terminal. Tallinn airport has therefore firmly established itself as one of the main transport nodes in the Baltic States. The expansion means that the airport can now cater for 2.4 million passengers a year.
Passenger numbers through the roof
There was no question as to the importance of this construction project and the need to increase airport capacity and enhance services. Previous estimates had forecast 1.4 million passengers a year by 2010; by 2007 there were already 1.7 million. The construction works were carried out by EMV AS, while the engineering aspects were handled by the consortium AS Telora-E and Ramboll Finland OY. Funding for this large-scale project came from Tallinn Airport Ltd, with co-financing provided by the European Union’s Cohesion Fund.
A return to hassle-free travel
The new building features a 200m long, 27m wide two-storey gallery connecting the gates. The main floor of the gallery handles Schengen travellers, while the top floor caters for non-Schengen passengers. Travellers with mobility problems are able to move about hassle-free by using the special lifts provided. Two of the total nine gates now available can service large aeroplanes, including Boeing 747s. With the number of check-in desks increasing from 18 to 27, and extra check-in machines put in place, passengers look set to benefit from more rapid processing. Security has also been stepped up and now includes five security gates.
Activities on offer for all ages
For passengers wanting to explore a little or take time out to relax, the new building houses a VIP section as well as cafés, restaurants and shops selling clothes, cosmetics, jewellery, books, including foreign-language fiction, travel guides and periodicals, as well as films and music. Estonian culture is also promoted, with local products and souvenirs showcased and sold in many areas. While parents may opt for the shopping or business side of travel, kids can enjoy a large play area which has opened nearby. For those wanting to plan trips, two additional travel offices have been set up in the public area, with an accommodation service also available.