Finland - Transportation

In 2002 there were an estimated 77,831 km (48,364 mi) of roads, of which 49,789 km (30,939 mi) were paved, including 444 km (276 mi) of expressways. In 2001 registered motor vehicles included 1,935,000 passenger cars and 316,738 commercial vehicles.

There were 5,865 km (3,644 mi) of railway lines in operation in 2002, of which 99% were operated by the Finnish State Railways. In 2001, the merchant fleet had a combined GRT of 1,172,404; there were 98 vessels with a GRT of 1,000 or more. Import traffic is concentrated at Naantali, Helsinki, Kotka, and Turku, while the ports of Kotka, Hamina, Kemi, Oulu, and Rauma handle most exports. Icebreakers are used to maintain shipping lanes during winter months. More than 900 people were killed in September 1994 when the ferry Estonia sank in rough seas off the Finnish coast while sailing from Estonia to Sweden. In 2002 there were 6,675 km (4,148 mi) of navigable inland waterways, of which 3,700 km (2,300 mi) are suitable for steamers. An agreement was signed in Moscow on 27 September 1962 for the reopening of the important Saimaa Canal under Finnish control, one-half of the canal having been incorporated into the former USSR in 1947. After extensive reconditioning, the canal began operating in 1968.

Airports numbered 160 in 2001, of which 74 had paved runways. Helsinki-Vantaa is the principal airport, located at Helsinki. State-run Finnair is engaged in civil air transport over domestic and international routes. In 1962, Finnair took over Kar-Air, the second-largest air carrier in Finland. In 2001 6,697,600 passengers were carried on scheduled domestic and international airline flights.

User Contributions:

Comment about this article, ask questions, or add new information about this topic: