The opening hours of Malmi Airport’s historic terminal are to be shortened to 9am – 3pm on weekdays. The City of Helsinki is not going to arrange evening or weekend supervision.
The Friends of Malmi Airport discussed the matter in its Board meeting on 5 October 2017. The Board is disappointed about the decision: an ordinary working Helsinkian will never have a chance to get acquainted with the terminal if it’s open only on weekdays from 9am to 3pm.
“We promise to keep the doors open with volunteer effort as much as possible, and invite with pleasure everyone as guests of our association so that those who want can get to know this authentic 1930’s airport that’s unique on European and even world level”, says Chairman Timo Hyvönen.
Aviation will still be possible normally from 7am until 10pm.
A will to keep the historic airport active
“Even according to the City Museum, this milieu is unique. We hope that the City will now organize services here: information, tours and opening hours. We have been arranging these for years by our association’s own effort”, Hyvönen sums up.
“A civic organization has limited resources, but we are still happy to organize tours of the historic surroundings of the airport. We aim to work in concert with the City, especially in the context of next year’s great 80th anniversary celebrations and the fly-in.”
City of Helsinki and the politicians have in their decision-making promised that the airport will became a place open to all citizens. Now it is under threat of being closed to everyone except its tenants and aviators.
The City is closing even the coffee dispenser
Chairman Hyvönen continues: “After the opening hours of the restaurant were reduced, we started a volunteer effort to maintain the coffee dispenser in the terminal building, but now the City has ordered it to be removed. This will make the place less cosy to event participants, architecture researchers and ordinary aviation aficionados. It feels like there’s an effort to forcibly shut down the services at the airport.”
Helsinkians want to keep the airport in aviation use
In poll after poll up to 67% of citizens want Malmi Airport to be kept in aviation use, and multitudes of people visit it to enjoy the place and to watch aircraft.
The Visithelsinki website promises that the terminal will be open from 8am until 9pm on all weekdays. In its original declaration of policy the City told that “the aim of the intermediate use of Malmi’s airport area is to support the development of Malmi Airport into a lively low-threshold center of activity…” and “The intermediate use should serve Helsinkians in a versatile and interesting manner.”
The fate of the airport is being considered in several administrative bodies
At the moment there is an application for the protection of the airport and the of possibility of aviation there, filed in 2015, under consideration in the Uusimaa region Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment. Because of this, a prohibition of endangerment has been issued to the airport, and it will remain in force until the decision in the matter is no longer appealable.
The Finnish Parliament is considering the Lex Malmi law initiative, which, if passed, would require the airport to be kept in aviation use regardless of who owns it. The Parliamentary Ombudsman is looking into the decision-making process of the Cabinet, and the Administrative Court is pondering on the legality of both the City’s general plan and the Regional Plan. Depending on the outcome, the processes will continue in the Supreme Administrative Court.
The Friends of Malmi Airport are already planning organizing a consultative referendum as well as of applications for protection based on, e.g., the law on nature conservation. The term of the present City Council of Helsinki ends already in 2021, so that Malmi will be a theme in the next municipal elections too.
The lively operation of Helsinki-Malmi Airport continues, and this year almost 40.000 operations have been logged already (January – September 2017).
Chairman, Friends of Malmi Airport
Tel. +358 50 3748371
Tours and other inquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org