Helsinki-Malmi noise level modelling updated – noise maps used in city planning not realistic

Press release 19 September 2016
Friends of Malmi Airport

Windcraft Ltd has completed an up-to-date noise modelling for Helsinki-Malmi Airport, based on present-day aircraft and the actual volume of flight operations. This is significant to city planning, as the City of Helsinki General Plan proposal is based on an outdated modelling from 2003. In spite of repeated requests, City of Helsinki and Finavia have not updated the noise level modelling.

With present-day aircraft the 55dB noise area of Malmi Airport is significantly smaller than in the 2003 situation, and is mostly restricted to the airport’s area. According to the modelling, on a busy summer’s day with 200 operations, the daytime average noise level LAeq (7-22) 55dB(A) is exceeded in an area of 106 hectares. The noise area used in the General Plan is more than four times as large, covering about 485 hectares.

New modelling based on actual activity

The modelling depicts a single busy summer’s day, when the noise caused by flight operations is at its biggest. According to the environment directive (2002/49/EC) the indicator noise levels are to be averaged over every day of a year. Sound pressure values calculated from annually averaged traffic, however, do not describe well the propagation of sound pressure from the seasonally varying volume of traffic typical to a general aviation airfield. In the present modelling, the noise level  of a busy summer Saturday is studied. In light of statistics, this way of describing the operations of a general aviation airfield is fairer from the surrounding population’s point of view.

The minutely detailed operation records have been obtained from Finavia. The characteristic mode of operations in general aviation has been taken into account, and the noise levels have been modelled with varying numbers of daily operations. This way, the modelling shows the noise maps of the busiest days without diluting them by averaging.

The noise level estimates used in the General Plan are outdated and exaggerated

The previous noise level modellings of Helsinki-Malmi Airport were made in 1992 and in 2003. In Helsinki city planning, the highest available estimate of the 2003 study has been used, presuming a 25% increase to actual operations, i.e. about 100.000 operations annually. At the time of the 2003 modelling, the tower was also open for several hours longer than at present. Today, there are about 50.000 operations annually at Malmi Airport.

The outdated noise modelling has been pointed out at several preparative meetings related to Helsinki’s General Plan.  The evolution of aircraft and the effect of the changed volume of operations on the noise areas has been made known to the planners.

“In the preparative meetings, city officials requested an up-to-date noise modelling to be delivered to them, if one exists. Now such a modelling has been delivered to them to support the planning work. Decisions about the General Plan must not be made based on hearsay”, says Mr. Timo Hyvönen of the Friends of Malmi Airport. “We criticize City of Helsinki and Finavia for their lack of will to update the modelling on time. An update would have made it possible to solidify the city structure years ago. Now it’s time to listen to experts.”

Mr. Tuomas Hakala, the architect in charge of planning the area, has answered the question about combining aviation activities and housing: “The City Planning Office has received nine different versions of combining aviation and residential use”. Says Hakala: “Combining these activities does not meet the goals of the General Plan that is in preparation.” He confirms that the planning has been based on the 2003 modelling with presumed 25% increase in traffic.

Mr. Juha Silvennoinen of the Finnish Aeronautical Association has studied the new noise level modelling. “General aviation is the fastest growing mode of transportation in the world. The new noise level modelling of Helsinki-Malmi Airport confirms the rapid development of aircraft especially in general aviation. Flight procedures and instructions make a big difference in the noise effect, flight profiles and routes can be chosen in the best possible way.” Mr. Silvennoinen is the expert on supervision of interests at Finnish Aeronautical Association and knows the evolution of  aircraft that has taken place. “The noise effect of light aircraft is very small compared to ten years ago, and the new trainers with electric motors will diminish the effect even further. This modelling shows that even busy general aviation activity is possible in a solidifying city structure.”

More information:

Windcraft Ltd
Aki Suokas, tel. +358 50 5660739
aki.2016@windcraft.fi

Friends of Malmi Airport
chairman Timo Hyvönen, tel. +358 50 3748371
puheenjohtaja@malmiairport.fi

Finnish Aeronautical Association
expert on supervision of interests Juha Silvennoinen, tel. +358 44 7742228
juha.silvennoinen@ilmailuliitto.fi

 

Several initiatives for protection of Helsinki-Malmi Airport are under way

The protection of the whole area of Helsinki-Malmi Airport has been proposed based on the law concerning building heritage (UUDELY/6622/2015). The noise level modelling confirms that the airport area can be protected in the proposed manner without any significant effect on City of Helsinki’s residential building goals. Protection proposal

The LEX MALMI popular law initiative aims at protecting the activity and cultural heritage value of Helsinki-Malmi Airport due to its significance that transcends the limits of municipalities. The initiative has already been supported by more than 40.000 citizens in 40 days, the required minimum number of supporters being 50.000. In Sweden, the Parliament decided in December 2015 that Stockholm-Bromma Airport is to be kept in aviation use.   Aloite on kerännyt 40 päivässä yli 40 000 kannattajaa vaadituista 50 000:sta. Ruotsissa eduskunta päätti vastaavasti keväällä 2015, että Tukholman Bromman lentoasema tulee säilyttää ilmailukäytössä. LEX MALMI site (in Finnish): see  www.lexmalmi.fi

The environment history study of Malmi Airport (in Finnish), commissioned by City of Helsinki (2016), recommends keeping the airport in aviation use.

The whole area of Malmi Airport is a Built Cultural Environment of National Significance (RKY 2009), defined by the National Board of Antiquities, and has in 2016 been selected as one of the Seven Most Endangered Cultural Heritage Sites in Europe by Europa Nostra and the European Investment Bank Institute.

Attachments:

At  the time of the 2003 modelling, Malmi Airport was open 07am-11pm, and the tower was open 9am-9pm on weekdays, 9am-6:30pm on Saturdays and 11am-9pm on Sundays.

At present, the airport is open 07am-10pm, and the tower is open 9am-7pm on weekdays and 10am-5pm in the weekend.