Press release 18 October 2016
Friends of Malmi Airport
A complaint was filed today with the Parliamentary Ombudsman about Finavia’s and Ministry of Transport’s actions in the matter of Malmi Airport. The Ombudsman was asked to look into the possible breach of the conditions set in the Cabinet’s decision in its framework negotiations in 2014. A single Ministry or a state-owned company fulfilling a public administration function cannot change the Cabinet’s decision.
The Finnish Cabinet decided in its framework negotiations in 2014, that “in order to improve the preconditions of housing construction in Helsinki region, the State withdraws its operations from Helsinki-Malmi Airport so that the area can be taken to residential construction use no later than the beginning of the 2020’s. A prerequisite of this change is that the Border Guard and civil aviation are moved to a substitutive airfield.” No substitutive place nor any transfers of aviation activities have been realized. Mrs. Merja Kyllönen, Minister of Transport and Communications at that time, has confirmed that a solution to the question of civil aviation was required in the 2014 framework negotiations.
The Ministry of Transport and Communications has announced on 17 October 2016 that it hasn’t asked or authorized Finavia to prepare giving up Malmi Airport. Finavia has already on 21 October 2014 made a proposal to City of Helsinki to purchase the State’s properties in Finavia’s control: “In order to make possible the execution of the Cabinet’s decision Finavia proposes, in accordance with the request of its owner, that City of Helsinki purchases Finavia’s properties at Helsinki-Malmi Airport, and the tenure of Helsinki-Malmi’s area is returned to City of Helsinki during 2016.” The request was signed by Finavia’s CEO Kari Savolainen.
Finavia’s extraordinary shareholders’ meeting decided on 14 January 2015 to end Finavia’s operation of Helsinki-Malmi Airport by the end of 2016. A substitutive airfield required by the Cabinet is not yet available. The cessation of air traffic control services with Finavia’s departure will make Malmi Airport of little use to most of the commercial entrepreneurs operating there, violating directly the precondition set by the Cabinet to safeguard civil aviation.
“One of Finavia’s public administrative duties is to keep up and develop the State’s airport network for the needs of civil and military aviation. In this case Finavia thus has a significant public role, which entails a prohibition to endanger basic rights and a duty to ensure legal protection according to the Finnish constitution. These are not upheld in the case of Helsinki-Malmi”, stresses Mr. Timo Hyvönen, Chairman of the Friends of Malmi Airport.
Timo Hyvönen, Chairman
Friends of Malmi Airport
tel. +358 50 3748371
Timeline of the decision-making process:
- Complaint to the Parliamentary Ombudsman (in Finnish)
- Ministry of Transport and Communications’ reply to the request of documents about Finavia’s authorization (in Finnish)
- Ombudsman’s ruling about Finavia’s public administration duty (in Finnish)
- The Finnish Cabinet’s decision made in the 2014 framework negotiations (in Finnish, including prerequisite of moving civil aviation to substitutive airfield)
- State Treasury: Public Economy Plan 2015-2018 (in Finnish, prerequisite of moving civil aviation to a substitutive airfield omitted)
- State Treasury’s reply to the question about changing the decision’s text in the Public Economy Plan (in Finnish, summary: “No specific knowledge about this change, possibly unintentional or done in order to shorten the text”)
- Ministry of Transport and Communications’ reply to the question about changing the decision text in the Public Economy Plan (in Finnish, summary: “Refer to Treasury’s reply”)
- Chancellor of Justice’s ruling about the Cabinet’s decision-making process (in Finnish, summary: “no reason to suspect that inadequate information was available or that any specific law was broken.”)