Mäntsälä and Pyhtää cannot replace Malmi Airport

Seppo SipiläNews archive

In their reporting about ongoing small airfield projects, the Finnish Broadcasting Company YLE (13 April 2018) and other media have repeatedly depicted them as solutions to replace Malmi Airport. E.g. the planned light aviation airfield in Mäntsälä (about 65 km from Helsinki) and Pyhtää airfield under construction in Kymenlaakso (about 100 km from Helsinki) have been highlighted.

These airfields will not replace Malmi Airport, but complement it.

The projects in Mäntsälä and Pyhtää are of a very different nature than the activities of Helsinki-Malmi Airport.

The number of operations at Helsinki-Malmi is tenfold compared to these airfields, whose environmental license applications are for 2000-4000 annual operations. Helsinki-Malmi is at present the home base of about 80-100 aircraft and helicopters depending on the season. In 2017, a total of 40.189 flight operations were logged at Malmi Airport. By Statute 904/2016, Malmi is an official international point of entry also for travellers from outside the Schengen region.

1.6 million people live within the sphere of influence of Helsinki-Malmi Airport; for Mäntsälä, the number is a bit over 20 000 and for Pyhtää a bit over 35 000.

As aviation develops, several regions will need new airfields, and to that purpose these small airfield projects are a splendid solution.  They have their own place and function.

The government has the responsibility of the continuity of aviation activities.

On 3 April 2018, the Parliament decided to oblige the government to take action to ensure compensatory airfield services so that the aviation activities of Malmi Airport can continue within good accessibility and reasonable distance. This will ensure Helsinki’s future accessibility by air from other regions in Finland and from abroad.

In practice this means a maximum distance of 20 km from Helsinki.

The Chairman of Friends of Malmi Airport, Mr. Timo Hyvönen urges the government and City of Helsinki to initiate negotiations about ensuring the continuity of aviation activities.

“The negotiations between the Finnish government and City of Helsinki must commence as soon as possible. A possible transition period must not cause a break in general aviation activity of the capital region. According to all forecasts, aviation will grow and develop tremendously in the near future. Operations at Malmi must be ensured at least until the compensatory solutions called for by the Parliament have been carried out. The best solution, of course, would be to reach an agreement about continuing aviation at Helsinki-Malmi Airport.”

Friends of Malmi Airport is not an aviation club, but takes a broader view on the matter. Mr. Hyvönen stresses the importance of looking at the whole.

”The globally acknowledged cultural heritage values of Helsinki-Malmi cannot be replaced, they can only be destroyed or preserved. I hope that the government is able to reach a consensus with City of Helsinki, e.g. through swapping lands. That way also the special nature values of this area can be preserved. When needed, the State has  executive powers, as was seen in the case of Sipoo’s Östersundom region that was annexed to Helsinki in 2009.”

More information:

Timo Hyvönen
Chairman, Friends of Malmi Airport
tel. +358 50 3748371
www.malmiairport.fi/en

YLE’s news about the light aviation airfield project in Mäntsälä, 13 April 2018 (in Finnish)

Below: some of Helsinki-Malmi’s aviation activity on 13 April 2018 (current situation: see http://lentoon.net/efhf/)