Finnish finance to continue airport tunnel

8 December 2010

The European Investment Bank has agreed to lend the Finavia Corp in Helnsinki, Finland, EUR 45M in order to assist with the company’s share of the Ring Rail Line project in the capital. Other finance for the project is being provided by the Finnish Government and the city authority of Vantaa.

The project is planned to include an 8-km tunnel linking the centre of Vantaa Airport with the rest of the 18-km rail route across the city. The Aviapolis business park will also be served by the line.

The new rail route is listed as a European Union Trans European Transport Network (TEN-T) priority and is also part of the Nordic Triangle to improve rail, road and marine infrastructure from Finland to Sweden.

Construction of the tunnel is already underway but had been halted for two months by concerns over seepage of glycol-sourced contaminants, (officially linked to aircraft de-icing) into the excavation under an airport runway. The levels of harmful substances in the soil were checked by the Institute of Occupational Health and found to be low, but glycol is known to encourage bacterial growth when mixed with oxygen.

Together with Finavia, partners in the project are the Finnish Transport Agency’s (FTA) road department and the City of Vantaa with project direction by the FTA’s rail department.

The rail link is designed to speed transport and to reduce road traffic with associated environmental benefits.