Poll 20 August 2014: Helsinki-Malmi Airport should remain in aviation use

Seppo SipiläNews archive

Only 15 percent of people in the Finnish capital region want apartments built on Malmi Airport. This is the result of the opinion poll commissioned by the Friends of Malmi Airport and conducted by TNS Gallup. More than half of the people in Helsinki region want to keep Malmi Airport in aviation use. If the needs of housing production could be met in some other way, 67 percent of the respondents would favor aviation at Malmi also in the future. The poll was conducted between 23 June and 8 August 2014, and was answered by 1038 residents of Uusimaa province.

– The Finnish government is actively pursuing converting the airport into a residential area. We commissioned this poll in order to prove the opposite opinion of the people. The poll reveals what we knew it would: the majority of residents in Helsinki region want aviation at Malmi to continue, says the chairman of Friends of Malmi Airport, Mr. Timo Hyvönen.

– There is both planned and unplanned building land reserve in Helsinki covering an area many times larger than Malmi Airport, so there is no shortage of space. It seems that the decision-makers have acted on erroneous information, Mr. Hyvönen adds.

Malmi is a venue for events and a valuable cultural environment

Helsinki-Malmi is the second busiest airport in Finland. 80 percent of the activity is training mostly aimed at professional pilots. The airport is also a base of the Finnish Border Guard’s Air Patrol Squadron and a versatile center of general aviation. In mid-August, the Finland International Airshow at Malmi lured in more than 51.000 paying specators.

– Malmi Airport is a meeting place where aviation hobbyists, pilot trainees and citizens gather from well beyond the capital region. Another indication of the airport’s popularity are the 64.000 signatures in the Petition to Save Helsinki-Malmi Airport, Mr. Hyvönen says.

In 2009, Malmi Airport as a whole was catalogued by the Finnish Board of Antiquities as a built cultural environment of national significance. In addition, the airport has twice been chosen on the List of 100 Most Endangered Sites by World Monuments Fund (2004 and 2006).

– The situation of the airport must now be reassessed. Providing services to business flights on a free schedule will no longer be possible if Malmi is closed down. The government is acting against public opinion, apparently on erroneous information and with no real need to close down the airport. Moving the aviation activities elsewhere is to a large extent not possible, and would mean the end of the operations, says Timo Hyvönen.

The poll commissioned by Friends of Malmi Airport from TNS Gallup was conducted as part of a phone omnibus survey between 23 June and 8 August 2014. The questions regarding Malmi Airport were made to respondents between ages 15 and 79 in Uusimaa province. A total of 1038 interviews were made. The statistical error margin of the poll is about 3 percent either way.

More information:

Timo Hyvönen
chairman
Malmin lentoaseman ystävät ry
puheenjohtaja@malmiairport.fi
tel. 050 374 8371
www.malmiairport.fi

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