New board of Estonian air navigation services provider starts work

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The new three-strong management board of the Estonian state-owned air navigation services provider Lennuliiklusteeninduse AS, chaired by Ivar Vark as CEO, took office on Tuesday.

Alongside Vark, Jaanus Jakimenko will lead the company’s communication, navigation, surveillance and air traffic management (CNS/ATM) arm and Ullar Salumae will continue as board member responsible for air traffic services.

As chairman of the management board of Lennuliiklusteeninduse AS, Vark intends to continue the development of projects already underway in order for air traffic management here to keep pace with the rapid development of aviation and for the company to be a leading provider of air navigation services in the region, spokespeople for Lennuliiklusteeninduse AS said.

Vark said that experts at Lennuliiklusteeninduse AS are working on several projects aimed at coping with increased volumes of air traffic and continuously ensuring safe and effective traffic in Estonian airspace, naming the FINEST project in cross-border cooperation with Finland as an example of this.

“The aim of the FINEST project is to ensure a flexible, cost-effective and competitive cross-border air navigation service for all airspace users. Putting it simply, it means that Finnish and Estonian flight controllers direct flights in both airspaces together. That enables to service more flights in the airspace during the same period of time. Never before have two air navigation service providers in Europe engaged in cross-border cooperation in such form,” Vark said.

A second highlight named by the new CEO is contributing to the development of unmanned flying.

“In order to continuously ensure safe traffic in Estonian skies, we have to develop a realistic action plan for the organization of drone traffic and devising of technical solutions. Cooperation on this between the Estonian Civil Aviation Administration and the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications is underway,” Vark said.

When it comes to both manned and unmanned aircraft, rapid exchanges of information concerning flight information and restrictions are important.

“Precise and relevant information-sharing is essential to ensuring flight safety and accident prevention,” Vark said.

Alongside development activities, Vark described investing in people as paramount.

Vark has previously served in several positions in the Estonian defense forces and as deputy squadron commander and pilot with 672 Squadron of the British Army Air Corps in different operations in Europe, the Middle East and the United States. Vark’s most recent position was that of commander of the fleet of the Police and Border Guard Board.

For the last five years, Jaanus Jakimenko has worked as rector of the Estonian Aviation Academy. Before that, Jakimenko worked as quality manager at Magnetic MRO. Ullar Salumae, who was also a member of the previous management board and has been a board member since 2015, will continue as head of air traffic services.

The new management board assumed office for a five-year term on Oct. 1.

The previous management board was made up of Tanel Rautits, Mati Tarlap and Ullar Salumae.

Lennuliiklusteeninduse AS is a company within the area of administration of the Estonian Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications and the company’s main activity is the provision of air navigation services for domestic and international flights in the Estonian airspace. The sole owner of Lennuliiklusteeninduse AS’ shares is the state of Estonia.

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