not only planes but also snowploughs, to ensure their timetables dovetail smoothly. The weather is tracked relentlessly in partnership with the Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI) and Vaisala, a world leader in environmental measurement technology. "Forecasting the weather is one of the key elements in snow-how," she says. "We have a deal with FMI to provide information to all Finavia airports. And we use Vaisala equipment for better understanding of the current weather situation and how it's developing. Accurate and deep knowledge of the weather is the key to safe airport operations at all our airports." Indeed, most weather-related measurements and observations, data collection, and distribution in Finland are done with Vaisala equipment. "On the roads, a network of 450 road weather stations help local authorities decide when and where to start ploughing or salting and when to warn motorists about hazards," says Kai Konola, Vaisala's executive vice president, Weather. Winter navigation is yet another story in a country where all harbours are ice-bound during the winter. Sailing on icy seas is made possible by icebreakers, ice strengthened vessels, and FMI's ice service. The ships are sent real-time ice maps produced by satellite images, radar images, and coastal observation stations. Routes are kept open by the state-owned Arctia Shipping's fleet of five conventional icebreakers and three multi-purpose icebreakers, one of which is even equipped to serve as an oil-recovery vessel. www.finavia.fi www.arctia.fi SnoW aWay! gETTiNg riD OF SNOW ON STrEETS AND B ruNWAyS iN juST MiNuTES NO PrOBlEM! an airport snow cleaner that combines plough, sweeper, and blower in one machine. some 450 state-of-the-art units operate worldwide in, including 100 in north America. these multitasking machines save time, staff and costs, as they eliminate the need for big fleets of single-function vehicles. A PsB unit can clean a three-kilometre runway to bare pavement within ten minutes, using high-pressure blowers to remove the last stubborn bits of snow from runways and edge lights. up to 21 metres long and eight metres wide, the contraptions look ungainly but "they're simple to use, extremely quiet and, in automatic mode, drive like an automobile," according to veikko Möttönen, director of international sales at Fortbrand services, which owns the vammas brand. www.arcticmachine.fi www.fortbrand.com lizzards cause no chaos for Kuopio. eastern Finland's biggest city has three Arctic machine snow loaders, each of which can fill a lorry with nearly 30 cubic metres of snow in a minute. together they can whisk 12 truckloads of snow from streets within an hour. spurred by recent severe winters, the "wonder loaders" have become an export hit, with sales across the nordic and Baltic regions as well as russia and other CIs states. "naturally, as the amount of the snow removed by cities multiplies, it motivates officials to think about more efficient solutions," says Juha Jääskelä, Ceo of the family-run Arctic machine in suonenjoki, near Kuopio. jääskelä cites studies indicating cost savings of more than 60 per cent in urban snow cleanup. "since we introduced the snow loader around 2000, sales have developed favourably," says jääskelä modestly as turnover was set to triple or quadruple in 2011. Also enjoying a surge in international sales is the Finnish-made vammas PsB, 25
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