Tallinn Airport: Another milestone and a bit of history

Tallinn Airport 2008

Tallinn Airport 2008

On September 19th, 2008 Skanska EMV handed over the renovated Tallinn Airport to the operating enterprise on Friday. The reconstruction cost EEK 615 million (EUR 39 million) and lasted for nearly two years. The terminal building was extended, a gallery was built to connect all the gates, thus making the building into a T-shape. The passenger traffic will be conducted in two levels: arrivals and departures. Offices, shops and waiting areas received a considerable facelift. Due to Tallinn now being part of the Schengen system, various security features were added and systems upgraded.
On March 29, 2009 the airport will be officially named after Lennart Meri, the first Estonian president after the Soviet era. On that date the late Lennart Meri would have celebrated his 80th birthday.  

Aviation activity in Estonia started in the 1920s. Here is a selection of most important facts about Estonian aviation and Tallinn airport.

1922 – Estonian first airline “Aeronaut” was established. The flights were operated on the routes Tallinn-Stockholm and Tallinn-Riga. In the same year Russian-German airline “Deruluft” started their flights on the route Leningrad-Tallinn-Riga-Köningsberg. In 1923 Finnish airline “Aero” also started operating on the route between Tallinn and Helsinki.

1923 – Aviation port was built on the shores of Lake Ülemiste.

Tallinn Airport 1934

Tallinn Airport 1934

1929 – Parliament adopted expropriation act for the land and buildings in the possession of the successors of the company Dvigatel and Vagnerid in order to establish a public airfield in Tallinn.

1932 – There was also a winter air traffic from Lake Ülemiste, daily number of passengers at the time was 30-35.

1934 – Newspaper Postimees announced that the private airport of Tallinn, located in Lasnamäe, on the shores of Lake Ülemiste, where planes had the possibility to land on the ground as well as on water, could rightfully be referred to as one of the largest in Europe. “At least in Eastern Europe no airport can compete with it neither regarding the number of passengers nor the frequency of air traffic,” the newspaper wrote at the time.

1936 – On September 20th Ülemiste airport with a concrete runway, hangar and navigation radars was opened. 40 meters wide and ca 300 meters long runways that were completed in the first phase enabled aircrafts to take off and land in six different directions. Tallinn Airport Ltd considers the date to be the company’s birthday.

Tallinn Airport 1957

Tallinn Airport 1957

1938 – The construction of the passenger terminal, designed by the architect Artur Jürvetson, started. The passenger terminal was finally completed in 1954 and it was in use until the Moscow Olympic Games.

1945-1989 – The entire Tallinn airport was used by Aeroflot and all the flights took place within the borders of the Soviet Union.

1980 – During the preparations for the sailing regatta to be held in Tallinn within Moscow Olympic Games the runway of Tallinn airport was extended and new passenger terminal was built.

1991 – On December 1st a state enterprise Estonian Air was established based on the assets of the local Aeroflot.

1998 – Reconstruction of passenger terminal started in March, during which the capacity of the passenger terminal was increased to 1.4 million people a year.

Tallinn Airport 1990-s

Tallinn Airport 1990-s

1999 – On December 12th President Lennart Meri opened the reconstructed passenger terminal of Tallinn airport.

In 2005 the Tallinn airport became a “million-passenger airport”, i.e. more than million passengers were served during a year. The magical number was reached on 20th September 2005.

Source: http://www.tallinn-airport.ee


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