18 November 2014: the Petition to save Malmi Airport was presented to Parliament

Seppo SipiläFor the press, News archive

The Friends of Malmi Airport Society presented the Petition to save Helsinki-Malmi Airport to Parliament in early afternoon. Chairman Timo Hyvönen gave the following presentation speech on the steps of Parliament.

Distinguished members of Parliament, dear Friends of Malmi Airport,

We are gathered here because the Finnish government proposes to close down aviation activities at Malmi Airport. The proposal has been justified with the need of building land in City of Helsinki, even though the City already has planned residential building reserve for 140.000 people. This equals more than 25 years’ need of new housing.

The government has made the proposal without any evaluation of its effects or costs. Shutting down aviation at Malmi Airport would be a tremendous blow to general aviation and aviation industry in Finland. Aviation is the fastest growing form of traffic in the world, and a general aviation airport is indispensable to metropolitan Helsinki. The matter has national and international significance. If Malmi Airport is closed down, there will be no other means of reaching the capital by air than heavy scheduled flights.

The frenzied closing down of Helsinki-Malmi Airport is reminiscent of the massive tearing-down boom of the 1970’s. When the airport was completed, it was a young nation’s show of strength. Now it is one of the hundred most endangered cultural treasures in the world. The airport belongs to everone; destroying a functional cultural environment of national significance goes against the people’s best interest.

Helsinki is threatened by an excavator destroying the runways. Its brutal work is furthered with incredible haste and bungling. We, 67 574 people, ask for the Parliament’s help. Do not let the shortsighted economical interest of one city prevail over the nation’s interests in culture and aviation. Return the fate of Malmi Airport to proper preparation; let us together study the real alternatives and consequences. Let us save our national monument, Malmi Airport. Let us save general aviation in Finland.