New environment regime at Helsinki to restrict night flights

Finland´s main airport at Helsinki shall restrict night flights, noise, emissions and water usage .
“Following the stipulations requires that Finavia takes extensive action and investment,” says Samuli Haapasalo, CEO of Finavia.
“However, the restrictions for night traffic will not cause major difficulties for transit flights between Europe and Asia, as most of them take place during the afternoon. Without transit flight passengers, connections from Finland to Europe would only be 50% of the existing offering.”
The noisiest aircraft will not be allowed to fly at night between 12:30 a.m. and 5:30 a.m.
In practice, this applies to widebodied aircraft used for long-distance traffic. Jets transporting cargo are also forbidden to fly during thoose hours.
In addition, the number of landings shall not increase during the period. The restrictions will take effect in 2013.
“Banning the use of the noisiest aircraft in the small hours will decrease the number of individual noise events which have been regarded as disturbing,” says Mikko Viinikainen, SVP Environmental Management of Finavia.
The new rules also set out objectives for improving the use of continuous descent approaches and requires reports on the development of other methods to mi-tigate approach noise.
The new rules also require that the noise measurement system is to be expanded in Nurmijärvi and Espoo, the municipalities to the north and to the west of the airport.
Finavia will replace the aircraft track and noise keeping system, which has been in use since 1997. The new system will also show aircraft routes and instantaneous noise levels on the Internet.
“Depending on the weather and traffic conditions, aircraft can be observed throughout the capital region. Next year, everyone interested can themselves track aircraft movements and noise using their own computer,” says Viinikainen.
The permit requires that another remote de-icing area, from where the excess de-icing liquid can be collected carefully, shall be introduced starting this year. Constructing a new treatment location for airlines is an investment of approximately EUR 14 million for Finavia.
To the east of the terminals, there is a runoff pumping tunnel from where the water is routed to a wastewater treatment plant. As set out in the permit provisions, Finavia will investigate the technical structures of the tunnel and will renovate them, when necessary, by the end of 2012. Finavia will also investigate the condition of River Kylmäoja, affected by the runoff, and plan its restoration measures. Based on the documents the permit authority will later make a separate decision on the restoration.
Finavia submitted the environmental permit application to the local Environmental Permit Authority in late 2007 according to the provisions of the earlier permit. The application was publicly announced for hearing in autumn 2008.
The decision was issued by the Regional State Administrative Agency of Southern Finland, and Finavia must apply for a revision by the end of 2017.