ELY Centre does not order area of Malmi Airport to be protected

Seppo SipiläFor the press, For the press, News archive

Press release 20 June 2018 9:00am
Friends of Malmi Airport

ELY sees protection as a matter of detailed city planning

The Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment (ELY) of Uusimaa has made its decision on the proposal for protection filed by Friends of Malmi Airport in October 2015. The ELY Centre does not order the area of Malmi Airport to be protected, but does not deem protection unnecessary. A heavy responsibility of protection now lies with City planners. The decision document  is available here (in Finnish).

For FoMA, the decision was disappointing but expected.

”Under such strong political pressure, this decision was to be expected. Even though a decision to protect the area wasn’t made yet, the content of the ELY Centre’s statement is good and confirms the special values of the area”, says Chairman of Friends of Malmi Airport, Mr. Timo Hyvönen.

The processing of the decision now continues in the next instances according to the normal process of complaints.

”We’ll read the statement thoroughly and take the matter to be assessed by the Ministry of the Environment. We’ll continue our work to keep the aviation activities on a wide front”, says Hyvönen.

He thanks the ELY Centre for its thorough evaluation.

”In its decision, the ELY Centre has made a strong case for the area’s significance and the need for protection. The decision is in contradiction with the grounds given. The detailed city plan can ensure strong protection. The City must meticulously fulfill the instructions in the decision if the Ministry of the Environment does not protect the area of the airport. In the City’s plans that have been presented so far, protection does not come true in the way required by the ELY Centre.”

According to the protection proposal, the area of Malmi Airport is to be protected with its buildings and runway areas. The area proposed for protection is, e.g., catalogued as a Built Cultural Environment of National Significance (RKY), and even on global scale it is a rarity of an original international airport from the era before World War 2.

The airport will be safe for years to come

The ELY Centre has issued a prohibition of endangerment to Malmi Airport. It remains in effect until the matter of protection has been legally solved, unless the instance of complaints orders otherwise. The Ministry of the Environment can also order the airport to be protected.

The ELY Centre sees the the national and international values described in the protection proposal and the statement of the National Board of Antiquities as undeniable.

According to City of Helsinki, the culturo-historical values of the area will be ensured in detailed planning. According to the ELY Centre, the cultural history assessment (in Finnish) commissioned by City of Helsinki is a good starting point for keeping up the cultural environment values.

More protection proposals to come

”In surveys commissioned by City of Helsinki it has been discovered that in addition to flying squirrels, there are several other strictly protected species at the airport. We are now working on a proposal for protection based on these”, says Hyvönen.

”The City must calm down the situation while these investigations are pending, and make sure that the aviation activities can, as a first step, continue for 5-10 years. The matter of Malmi Airport must be considered with care in light of the emerging electric aviation and the ongoing revolution in transport.  In any case, the processing of the various proposals and complaints will take years, if not decades.”

Link: Decision of the ELY Centre (in Finnish)

Link: Original protection proposal

Link: Environment history survey of Helsinki-Malmi Airport (City of Helsinki, in Finnish)

Photo: The City’s preliminary plan for the airport area

Photo: Illustration of the same area

More information

Timo Hyvönen, Chairman
Friends of Malmi Airport
tel. +358 50 3748371

RKY is a catalogue compiled by the National Board of Antiquities, taken into the Land Use and Building Act by decision of the Finnish Council of State as a catalogue referred to in the National Land Use Guidelines in the matter of built cultural environments as of 1 January 2010. www.rky.fi