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Home NATIONALDevelopment policies for regional airports proposed
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Sun, 08 Feb, 2015 01:19:10 AM
FTimes Report, Feb 8
 
Finavia office at Helsinki Airport. Photo Lehtikuva.
The Ministry of Transport and Communications is putting forward more than 50 development policy ideas for the development of air transport and airports in its air transport strategy for 2015-2030.
 
The air transport strategy was presented to Minister of Transport and Local Government Paula Risikko on Friday.
 
Key aspects of the strategy include maintaining airports as a network also in the future, and the development of air transport and provincial airports as a collaborative effort of officials and the business community, said a press release of the Ministry of Transport and Communications issued on the day.
 
"The strategy offers a good foundation for the development work of different areas of air transport both on the national level and as part of the preparation and legislative work of the European Union and international organisations", Risikko said.
 
Five regional working groups tasked with creating demand for regional airports and their services are to be established for implementing the strategy, according to the Minister.
 
Minister of Transport and Local Government Paula Risikko. File Photo Lehtikuva.
The strategy proposes taking measures and setting goals for airports, as well as areas such as policy on safety, air transport charges, and subsidies, navigation services, training, and ground handling services.
 
The strategy emphasises that air transport supports the possibilities for growth in the Finnish economy as well as the country's competitiveness.
 
Air transport needs to be developed for the long term to serve the needs of passengers and other customers, said the release.
 
In addition to airports and air transport connections, targets for development include transport links to the airports.  
 
"The cooperative groups will bring together representation from bodies including regional councils, chambers of commerce, airport municipalities, and entrepreneurs' organisations", Risikko explained.
 
Finland currently has 24 airports maintained by Finavia, as well as the foundation-operated airport in Seinäjoki, and the municipal airport of Mikkeli. Helsinki Airport is the only profitable airport in the Finavia network and the revenue from Helsinki is used to finance the entire network.
 
Three top projects have been named in the development of regional airports. The projects for Lapland and Northern Finland and Eastern Finland focus on the development of regional airports, their air transport services, and tourism.
 
In Tampere there are plans to establish travel chains to the airport involving different forms of transport to serve passengers, and the business community, said the release.
 
In the strategy, unmanned aerial vehicles are seen to offer significant possibilities for growth for many services that include, for instance, surveying, mapping and photography, security inspections for transport and energy networks, aid and rescue services, as well as border monitoring and national defence activities.
 
Measures to improve safety are being planned and implemented as collaboration among officials and the recreational aviation community, the strategy points out.
 
 
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