Aviation sector

The Estonian aviation sector must be safe, secure, environmentally sound and in compliance with the national defence principles.

In 2015, approximately 2,1 million people travelled through Tallinn Airport on Estonian planes. Most of them took flights abroad and approximately 20,000 took domestic flights. Almost 16,000 tons of goods were sent by plane.

The European Union internal market is fully open for all the European Union air carriers and connections between Estonia and third countries are covered by intra-governmental agreements. Last year’s most popular destinations for flights leaving from Estonia were Frankfurt, Helsinki and Riga.

Almost 2,500 people are employed in the Estonian aviation sector. The state-owned Tallinn Airport also controls regional airports in Kuressaare, Kärdla, Pärnu and Tartu, which are open for international air traffic and air fields in Ruhnu and Kihnu.

In Estonia, air traffic is regulated under the provisions of the Aviation Act. The tasks of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications include the development of aviation legislation and bringing it into compliance with the aviation acts of the European Union and international agreements.

Foto: Marko Mägi

Organisation of aviation

Air-navigation in the air space is organised by Estonian Air Navigation Services while civil aviation is organised by the Estonian Civil Aviation Administration.

Estonian Air Navigation Services, a state-owned company, fulfils the task of ensuring safe and smooth air-navigation and provides air traffic services in the air space of Tallinn flight information region (TALLINN FIR/UIR). In addition, the company controls the use of air space, offers communication and alert services and aviation related consultations, compiles and distributes air traffic information and conducts expertise.

Civil aviation is managed and supervised, at state level, by the Estonian Civil Aviation Administration. Statistical information about air safety is also available from the website of this institution.


Connections with main islands

Carriage of passengers on remote routes in airline navigation, including connections with large islands is ensured by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications and county lines are ensured by county governments.

In the summer of 2016, contracts were signed with Lithuanian air carrier JSC aviation company "TRANSAVIABALTIKA" (registration number 159973821, location Karmelava, Kaunas dist. LT-54460, Lithuania) to operate Tallinn-Kärdla-Tallinn and Tallinn-Kuressaare-Tallinn airlines. The contracts were signed as a result of public procurement and on fixed term of 31.05.2019.

The flight schedule and tickets are available in Tallinn, Kärdla and Kuressaare airports, through travel agents and on website http://www.saartelennuliinid.ee/en.


Operating licence

All the European Union air carriers must hold an operating licence for the carriage of passengers, post and cargo.

The operating licences of air carriers are issued in Estonia by the Minister of Economic Affairs and Communications against an appropriate application. More specific terms and requirements applicable to the issue of the licence are laid down in the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union regulation no. 1008/2008/EC with the common rules for the provision of air services.

The operating licence is issued by the Minister of Economic Affairs and Communications to the following companies: AS Pakker Avio, AS Avies, OÜ Estonian Rotorway, Panaviatic AS, Smartlynx Airlines Estonia OÜ, AS Airest, Nordic Jet OÜ, Fort Aero AS and Regional Jet OÜ. 


International organisations and co-operation

  • NEFAB (North European Functional Airspace Block)

NEFAB develops North European airspace block co-operation between Estonian, Latvia, Finnish and Nordic ministries, air traffic servicing units and aviation boards and the goals of the co-operation are laid down with the Single European Sky (SES) regulation. NEFAB develops the capacity of European sky air traffic, its safety, aviation and transport system and attempts to reduce environmental impacts.


Last updated: 11 October 2016