Loan secured to build new air traffic control tower in Latvia

The State JSC Latvijas Gaisa Satiksme (Latvian air traffic, LGS) will receive a loan of EUR 25 million from the Nordic Investment Bank (NIB) for the modernization and expansion of air traffic management systems. The funds will be used to build a new air traffic control tower and state-of-the-art air navigation system, LGS said on April 8.

The agreement provides that the loan is due by the end of 2038.

The company explained that the air traffic control tower at Rīga airport, built in 1973 and currently in use, no longer meets the needs of a rapidly developing airport. The new technologies, which will be installed during the upgrade, will also allow the introduction of a remote air traffic control system, ensuring remote control of aircraft take-off and landing at other airports in Latvia.

“The construction of the new air traffic control tower and the related modernization of air traffic control systems is currently the largest LGS project, the implementation of which is important not only for the company but also for the development of air traffic and further improvements in air traffic safety and efficiency,“ said LGS Board Chairman Dāvids Tauriņš.

The new facility will also allow the introduction of Remote Control Tower technology for other airports in Latvia, facilitating centralised air traffic control.

Visualization of new Rīga air traffic control tower
Visualization of new Rīga air traffic control tower

“The project aligns with Latvia’s modernisation and sustainability objectives. Through our collaboration, we aim to drive positive change, enhance air traffic control, and contribute to a more efficient and sustainable aviation sector,” said André Küüsvek, President and CEO of NIB.

On 20 December 2022, the Transport Committee of the Connecting Europe Facility supported the project submitted by LGS with a co-financing of 50% or EUR 26.263 million for the improvement and adaptation of air traffic infrastructure for dual use, i.e. both civilian and military purposes.

NIB is an international financial institution owned by eight Member States: Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Lithuania, Latvia, Norway and Sweden. The bank finances private and public projects in and outside the Member States.

LGS was founded in 1991 and provides air navigation services to all users of Latvian airspace. LGS's only shareholder is the Ministry of Transport.

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