As of today, 9 September, Riga Airport starts operating the second rapid exit taxiway that has been constructed with the support of the Cohesion Fund (CF).
The new rapid exit taxiway was first used early Thursday morning by an aircraft of the national airline airBaltic arriving in Riga from Turku.
The rapid exit taxiway permits decreasing the distance of aircraft movement on the runway and taxiway. Thus, the airport will decrease the amount of fuel and time consumed during the land manoeuvres, thereby also decreasing the amount of emitted pollutants – CO2, hydrocarbons and particles.
“The new rapid exit taxiway is another purposeful step of Riga Airport towards the development of sustainable airfield infrastructure. Being an airport that has undertaken to reach the zero-emission level by 2050, Riga Airport invests in the acceleration and efficiency of airfield processes thereby minimising the amount of emitted pollutants. This is an investment in the future that cares for the environment and decreasing the climate changes,” stresses Laila Odiņa, Chairperson of Riga Airport Board.
The construction works were performed by a tender-selected road construction company SIA Binders, and the total project costs amount to 2.6 million euros. The construction works required a specific work organisation regime to avoid interruptions and other encumbrances to the airfield operation. Therefore, all technological processes of the construction works in the airfield territory occurred at night in-between flights. This period likewise covered the organisation of material supply, construction machinery and equipment logistics.
It has already been reported that within the framework of the Cohesion Fund-funded project “Development of Safe and Environmentally Friendly Infrastructure at Riga International Airport”, Riga Airport was carrying out the development of the airfield and airport territory infrastructure at a large scale. The airport taxiways have been equipped with centreline lights, thus taking the first step towards the introduction of the innovative “follow the greens” aircraft management system, and a helipad for EMS missions and search & rescue services, as well as military, and heads of states and other helicopters has been constructed.
Likewise, the CF support has been used to reconstruct the public access roads, modernise the rainwater sewerage and lighting infrastructure.
The support for Airport modernisation is planned within the framework of the planning document Priority Axis “Sustainable Transportation System” Specific Objective 6.1.2 “To Promote Security and Compliance with Environmental Requirements at Riga International Airport”. Riga Airport concluded a contract with the Central Finance and Contracting Agency (CFCA) on 27 December 2016 to receive the CF-funding for the implementation of the project. On 3 July 2017, the Airport received a positive decision of the European Commission (EC) concerning the state support notice for the project “Development of Secure and Environmentally Friendly Infrastructure at Riga International Airport” (project No. 18.104.22.168/16/I/001).
The total available financing for the project is EUR 23,049,010, of which the CF financing is EUR 10,774,241, and financing of Riga International Airport – at least EUR 11,564,245.
Riga Airport is a rapidly growing air traffic hub in the Northern Europe which connects the Baltic States with the European business centres and popular recreation destinations. As a participating organisation of the Charter for COVID-19 of the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), Riga Airport applies the highest epidemiological safety standards for work in the aviation sector. Skytrax has awarded Riga Airport with four stars for the implemented Covid-19 safety measures.