Visit by Finnish and Swedish delegations to Tartu will increase co-operation in the fields of aviation, education and tourism
Tartu County Development Association
26 November / On 24 November, the Finnish-Swedish delegation visited Tartu, flying for the first time on the Umeå-Seinäjoki-Tartu route. One of the goals of the visit is the relaunching of air routes, which will lead to a future increase in demand for various cargo routes, along with business, educational and tourist travel. It creates an opportunity to strengthen co-operation between Finland, Estonia and Sweden in several areas.
The City of Seinäjoki – located in the Kvarken region of Finland – Tartu County and Southern Estonia are making great strides in testing and improving hydrogen and electric aviation and drone technologies. During the visit, the partner regions exchanged experience and information on these topics. In addition, the guests gave a detailed overview of the business and tourism environment in their region, opportunities and areas for cooperation.
Located about an hour’s flight from Tartu, Seinäjoki has an innovative regional airport. Together with our Swedish partners, we are participating in the FAIR project to promote electric aviation (https://www.kvarken.org/en/project/fair/) and a strong emphasis is being placed on the development of unmanned aviation. Plans for the future include the opening of a pilot laboratory for innovative technologies at the airport. As early as next summer, the largest drone network in Europe, Dronamics, will begin operating at Seinäjoki Airport, with Tartu Airport also holding negotiations with them.
‘Cooperation with Dronamics creates the opportunity to launch cargo lines between Seinäjoki and Tartu,’ says Elisabet Kivimäki, representative of Into Seinäjoki, adding that: ‘Tartu is, without a doubt, an attractive travel destination and in the future we would like to launch passenger travel between the regions. Taking into account the trends in the aviation sector and co-operation with the Swedes in the development of electric aviation, climate-friendly electric aircraft could start flying between Tartu-Seinäjoki-Umeå within the next few years.
The visit included a stop at the Estonian Aviation Academy and SPARK Demo, as well as learning about innovative projects in the fields of technology and entrepreneurship. Among other things, the guests were introduced to the ZeroEST carbon neutrality development centre, the green accelerator, the space incubator, the business festival sTARTUp Day, Tartu 2024 European Capital of Culture, and the South-Estonian Tourism Cluster. The Tartu Vocational Education Centre introduced its activities and study programme.
‘Daily presentations, congregating together and an evening networking event provided momentum for planning further steps, in order to jointly shape aviation of the future and to offer innovative services at regional airports,’ said Kristiina Tammets, CEO of the Tartu County Development Association and organiser of the co-operation visit.
In conclusion, Marek Alliksoo, Head of the ZeroEST development centre, said: ‘In the pursuit of climate neutrality, a change has taken place in the world, where aviation is no longer the domain of big business. A school can build a hydrogen plane, small and agile businesses can shape the future. When we created ZeroEST, we saw the need to create a unified ecosystem in order to generate suitable opportunities here as well, and when meeting with the Finnish-Swedish delegation, it became clear that transnational cooperation will take us to the next level in the name of common innovation.’
The visit by the delegation took place within the framework of the LEADER cooperation project ‘Air traffic and logistics development between EU rural areas and China’. In addition to the Tartu region of Estonia, regional airports and partners from Finland, Slovenia, Greece, and Italy are participating in the project.
CEO of the Tartu County Development Association
Last changed 26.11.2021