Press release 28 August 2016
Friends of Malmi Airport
Half of the required number of signatures achieved
The Citizens’ Initiative to keep Malmi Airport in aviation use has in two weeks reached half of the 50.000 signatures required to file a law initiative. Yesterday in Helsinki’s “Night of the Arts”, actual queues were formed by citizens who wanted to sign the initiative. On Thursday, more than 2000 people expressed their support to the initiative.
The booth of FoMA was in the middle of the buzz between the Railway Station and the Post building. Numerous citizens came to it in a determined manner, asking “Is this where I can support keeping Malmi Airport?” The majority of people knew what was going on. A small fraction of the people were in favor of residential building on Malmi Airport.
The people have taken Malmi’s cause to heart
Mikko Saarisalo is one of the originators of the initiative. “The width of the support and the speed at which the initiative propagates have been surprising. We knew that the matter was important to the people, and now the will of the people is becoming concrete, it is a question of fairness and common sense. The facts support the initiative. The citizens are taking up the matter with sincere enthusiasm, and things are looking great for the law initiative.”
City Councilman Jarmo Nieminen of the Green League was participating in collecting signatures. “I was asked several times, how I as a Green Councilman can support keeping Malmi Airport. Malmi is one key to Helsinki’s successful international future, and as a Councilman I absolutely can’t accept closing this door.”
Helsinki’s General Plan is questionable
The Chairman of FoMA Timo Hyvönen is happy about the LEX MALMI initiative. “The importance of the Airport to Finns is much greater than that of building land, and it is evident in the people’s enthusiasm to support it and spread the word to their neighbors. Signatures are piling up from all over Finland at an accelerating rate as the word spreads.” Hyvönen considers Helsinki’s General Plan to be a failure. “The residential construction planned to the area would be about 400-500 apartments per year in the period 2025-2050, so the effect would be minimal. That’s why the General Plan must be returned to new preparation with experts and taking into account the pending change of the Limited Liability Housing Companies Act, which will immediately make it possible to build more than 100.000 new residences in Helsinki.”
The LEX MALMI citizens’ initiative was opened for signing on 10 August 2016 at 4pm, and it has reached half of the required backing in just two weeks. The initiative is nationwide. It will next be presented at Lappeenranta Aviation Day on Saturday 27 August 2016 from 10am to 7pm. The media is welcome to get acquainted with it at Lappeenranta Airport. Accreditations are handled by Juuso Korhonen, tel. +358 400 550299.
LEX MALMI – Mikko Saarisalo, firstname.lastname@example.org, +380 50 486 0145
Lappeenranta Aviation Day – Juuso Korhonen, http://www.liy.fi/, +358 400 550 299
Malmin lentoaseman ystävät – Timo Hyvönen , email@example.com, 050 3748371
https://www.kansalaisaloite.fi/fi/aloite/2106 – the initiative at the Ministry of Justice’s website (in Finnish)
https://lexmalmi.fi/ – grounds of the initiative (in Finnish)
https://www.eduskunta.fi/FI/vaski/KasittelytiedotValtiopaivaasia/Sivut/KK_392+2016.aspx – pending change of the Limited Liability Housing Companies Act (in Finnish)
http://www.liy.fi/ Lappeenranta Aviation Day (in Finnish)
Pictures, for free use in reporting:
People at the booth. Photo by Juha Krapinoja
The citizens expressed their views spontaneously. “This is the best thing in the Night of the Arts!” said a man who visited the booth. One of the signatories assured: “Of course Malmi must be defended. There’s not a shred of common sense in these plans to destroy it.” A senior Helsinkian lady was annoyed: “How is it possible that no one is taking a stand against this cultural scandal? What is this frenzy to destroy everything beautiful in this city?” The indignation at the policy of the city officials and some Council groups was tangible.
Aerial views of the booth between the Post building and the Railway Station. Photos by Timo Hyvönen.