More than 25,000 Helsinki residents have already signed Finland’s largest municipal initiative ever
Municipal initiative 6466 to hold a referendum on the aviation use of eHlsinki-Malmi Airport is collecting signatures. The referendum would ask whether Malmi should be kept in aviation use or not. The initiative itself does not take a stand on one side or the other.
On Sunday, January 5, 2020, the number of supporters of the initiative exceeded the planned population of the area. By 2050, the City of Helsinki has planned housing to the airport and surrounding areas for about 25,000 inhabitants. The initiative is now supported by 25,007 Helsinki residents. The initiators of the initiative are Mayor (ret.) Raimo Ilaskivi, Lex Malmi activist Kim Korkkula and Chairman of the Friends of Malmi Airport Association Timo Hyvönen.
The required support (4% of municipality’s population) was exceeded already in autumn 2019. At that time, the chairmen of the council groups of the largest parties in the Helsinki Council refused to support a public referendum. The initiators are now carefully considering when to bring the initiative to the Council.
“We hope that the council groups will tell us how much support is needed for the referendum to take place”, says Timo Hyvönen, one of the initiators of the initiative.
The large-scale popular movement seeks to preserve the culturally and historically valuable airport and its natural values alongside the aviation activities. A proposal for protection of the airport area is pending under the Cultural Heritage Act. The protection proposal is currently being processed by the Ministry of the Environment, and a prohibition on endangerment is in effect in the area as a result. Despite the threat of closure, operations at Malmi Airport have continued normally in 2020.
Municipal referendum on maintaining Helsinki-Malmi Airport for aviation use (for Helsinki residents): https://www.kuntalaisaloite.fi/fi/aloite/6466