Erroneous process takes Helsinki's General Plan to Supreme Administrative Court

Seppo SipiläFor the press, News archive

Press release 8 March 2018 11:45am
Friends of Malmi Airport

Friends of Malmi Airport has on Wednesday 7 March 2018 filed a complaint about the Helsinki Administrative Court’s decision concerning Helsinki’s General Plan. FoMA demands that the matter is returned to be processed anew.

“I especially wonder how the Administrative Court can view the aviation activities as having ended, when there are airplanes flying at the airport every day”, says Chairman of Friends of Malmi Airport, Mr. Timo Hyvönen.

The principle of equality is violated in several places in the Administrative Court’s decision

In the Administrative Court’s decision, the Friends of Malmi Airport were alerted to, among other things, the fact that the Court interprets the same arguments to lead to opposite conclusions in different areas. E.g. in the Vartiosaari RKY area, it is not possible to leave the protection of cultural values to the detailed planning phase, whereas in Malmi Airport’s RKY area this is deemed possible. Both areas are Built Cultural Environments of National Significance (RKY 2009).

The Administrative Court has overruled several parts of the General Plan for being in contradiction with the Regional Plan. In the case of Malmi Airport, however, the Court made the opposite decision even though the General Plan is in clear contradiction with the Regional Plan.

Earlier decisions and legislation were not taken into account

The Administrative Court did not consider the Supreme Administrative Court’s earlier decisions related to similar natural values. FoMA’s complaint reminds about e.g. earlier decisions concerning the habitats of the critically endangered sea trout (salmo trutta trutta) and the directive-protected thick-shelled river mussel (unio crassus), KHO:2014:176 (see References).

The Administrative Court’s decision contains an especially serious error about the aviation activities. The Administrative Court considers the aviation activities to have ended, even though the airport has a valid environmental license and operating license. Altogether 40.189 operations were flown from Malmi Airport in 2017. The statute on international points of entry, to which Malmi Airport belongs, has also been neglected.

Helsinki has the authority and the responsibility for the future

Mr. Hyvönen points out that the future of Malmi Airport is under the authority and responsibility of City of Helsinki.

“It is the interest and the duty of City of Helsinki to assess the possibilities and prerequisites of future aviation in the capital region now, as the plan will be returned to preparation. This time the City has to listen also the the citizens’ opinion, as more than two thirds of Helsinkians still want to keep the airport in aviation use.”

A veteran of city planning, professor Pentti Murole has looked into the Administrative Court’s decision concerning Malmi Airport.

“I’m saddened but hopeful. I don’t really expect the lawyers to solve this by scrutinizing the articles of the law. My hope is that our beloved Helsinki, striving to be ever more competitive, would under its own authority once more take up its digital pencils and sketches and create an alternative that gives us a fine garden city and an operational city airport to boot. It is possible.”

More information:

Timo Hyvönen
Chairman, Friends of Malmi Airport


FoMA’s complaint to the Supreme Administrative Court (in Finnish)

Pentti Murole’s analysis (in Finnish)

FoMA’s rejoinder to the statements made to the Administrative Court (in Finnish)

FoMA’s original complaint to the Administrative Court (in Finnish)

Current flights at Malmi Airport

Examples of the Supreme Administrative Court’s decisions neglected by the Administrative Court

The Supreme Administrative Court’s decisions on the directive-protected flying squirrel (e.g. KHO:2015:269 and KHO:2002:78), bats (e.g. KHO:2013:15), sea trout and thick-shelled river mussel (e.g. KHO:2014:176 and KHO 10.9.2012, original 2373) and birdlife (e.g. KHO:2009:77).

Supreme Administrative Court’s decision 3161/2015 concerning the founding of Humppila airfield. The assessment required in the context of Humppila about Malmi Airport’s significance in the Finnish airport network has not been made in the context of the General Plan.