Flying High: Exploring Finland’s Top 5 Airports with the Longest Runways
Finland’s unique geography and position as a strategic hub for air travel make it an important destination for travelers, military personnel, and cargo operators alike. With a growing demand for air travel, it’s vital to have airports with runways capable of handling a range of aircraft. In this article, we’ll explore the top 5 Finnish airports with the longest runways, their histories, and their importance in connecting Finland to the world.
1. Helsinki Vantaa International Airport (HEL)
Helsinki Vantaa International Airport (HEL) holds the top position for having the longest runway in Finland, which is unsurprising given that it is the country’s largest airport. The airport boasts three runways, with the longest measuring an impressive 3,500 meters (11,483 ft). The second and third runways measure 3,060 meters (10,039 ft) and 2,901 meters (9,518 ft), respectively.
Established in 1952, HEL airport initially had only one runway, with the second added in 1956 to accommodate the growing demand for air travel. In 2002, the third runway was inaugurated, leading to increased capacity and more efficient operations. The airport serves as a crucial hub for Finnair and other airlines, connecting Finland to destinations across the globe.
2. Rovaniemi Airport (RVN)
Rovaniemi Airport (RVN) was constructed in 1940 and served as an airbase during the Continuation War, functioning as a supply hub for the German Luftwaffe. The airport has a single runway that measures 3,002 meters (9,849 ft) in length.
While RVN’s runway may not be capable of accommodating fully loaded Boeing 747-8 aircraft, it is capable of serving as a landing strip for an Airbus A380, which necessitates a minimum runway length of 3,000 meters. RVN airport serves as a gateway to the Lapland region, which is a famous tourist destination known for its winter sports and Northern Lights.
3. Kuopio Airport (KUO)
Kuopio Airport (KUO) is situated in northeastern Finland and ranks as the country’s fifth busiest airport, generating considerable profits. The airport has a single runway that measures 2,800 meters (9,186 ft) in length.
An interesting fact about KUO airport is that during its establishment in 1939 and throughout the Finnish-Soviet Continuation War, the runways were entirely constructed of plywood. However, they have been upgraded to asphalt, resulting in enhanced safety and efficiency. KUO airport is used by both the Finnish Air Force and commercial airlines, playing a vital role in connecting military and civilian operations.
4. Tampere-Pirkkala Airport (TMP)
Tampere-Pirkkala Airport (TMP), which was established in 1936, is one of Finland’s oldest airports, boasting one of the longest runways in the country. The airport has a single runway that measures 2,700 meters (8,858 ft) in length.
The runway was paved in 1958 and serves both commercial and military aircraft, making it a critical link for both civilian and military operations. Located in southern Finland, TMP airport serves as a gateway to the Tampere region, which is renowned for its cultural attractions and industrial heritage.
5. Kauhava Airport (KAU)
Kauhava Airport (KAU) was previously utilized for military activities until 2014 and currently holds the fifth position on the list of Finnish airports with the longest runways. The airport has a single runway that is 2,700 meters (8,858 ft) long.
Although KAU’s runway may not be suitable for accommodating fully loaded Airbus A380 or Boeing 747 aircraft, it can still serve as a landing strip for other types of planes, including turboprops and popular models such as the Airbus A320 and Boeing 737. KAU airport is a crucial hub for both military and civilian activities in western Finland.
In conclusion, Finland’s airports with the longest runways play a crucial role in connecting the country to the world. With Helsinki Vantaa International Airport leading the pack, the other airports on this list provide important links for both civilian and military operations, as well as serving as gateways to some of Finland’s most popular regions. As air travel continues to grow, these airports will remain essential in connecting Finland to the rest of the world.
Also, you might be interested in reading: Which airports have the shortest runways?
- Source: Simple Flying