The Avia network is a cooperation forum with members from the private, public and third sector interested in the development of the airport area and air traffic, being significantly affected by their importance and impact.
The network aims to represent its members in creating an airport ecosystem that will be the globally most sustainable and attractive with an excellent accessibility, as well. Strategically, developing the area of Helsinki-Vantaa International Airport and its accessibility is of utmost importance to the City of Vantaa. In the regional development of Helsinki-Uusimaa, the importance of the airport is crucial. The airport area has been acknowledged in the regional land use plans and in the implementation of the Helsinki-Uusimaa Regional Programme.
The activities of the network date back to the cooperation group of Southern Finland 2015-2016, collaborating regionally according to the national air transport strategy. Currently, the network project is carried out as cooperation between the Helsinki-Uusimaa Regional Council and the City of Vantaa, and it aims at creating and maintaining the networks of cooperation, development and data exchange for the accessibility and development of the Helsinki-Vantaa International Airport. The network includes both the public and private sector.
The activities include network meetings and round table discussions. Sustainable development and growth are topics of interest for meetings and discussions. Other topics are the accessibility of the airport, the national transport system plan, large transport projects as the planning of the Light Rail, competitiveness in the global market and the new normal after COVID-19.
It is also important to compare and follow-up good practices of actors at peer airports globally, as well as taking part in cooperation networks.
The impact of the pandemic on the ecosystem of air traffic and companies in this line of busines has been utterly significant. The crisis related to the pandemic accelerates issues like green transition, digitalisation, health security and different ways of travel. The new future of travel and a structural change of travel demand are here to stay. The geopolitical status of Finland remains the same and we are still an “island” where the accessibility in air traffic and good connections abroad are vital to the national economy. Our geographical position can offer the shortest air route with the lowest emissions between Europe and Asia, and this gives us a clear advantage in the global competition.
During the pandemic, emphasis has been put on promoting interests. For instance, the network meetings have included updates of the situation with Mr Timo Harakka, Minister of Transport and Communications, Mr Matti Vanhanen, Minister of Finance and Mr Kari Savolainen, appointed representative by the Ministry of Employment and the Economy.
The Avia network is chaired by Ms Ritva Viljanen, Mayor of the City of Vantaa and its vice chairperson is Mr Ossi Savolainen, the Regional Mayor of Helsinki-Uusimaa. A project manager leads and has responsibility for the network's cooperation with stakeholders and partners.
An easily accessible airport is a key success factor in the global competition. To do well on the global market, the Avia network is following up and benchmarking the development and good practices of peer airports.
The City of Vantaa and the Helsinki-Uusimaa Regional Council are members of the Airport Regions Council ARC. Promoting interests of the airport regions, the ARC furthers their shared goals in various European institutions. The council is connected to organisations of different industries, it participates in and impacts the development of airport areas and is also lobbying for the interests of its members. Help is offered for EU projects, also education and information are given about the industry. When developing the Aviapolis and the airport area, the ARC membership is profitable to the City of Vantaa and the Helsinki-Uusimaa Regional Council.
The Avia network is open to all private and public actors interested in developing the airport area. Actors:
Companies: Finnair, Nordic Regional Airlines, Finavia, VR Group, Fintraffic Air Navigation Services, Hotel Scandic Airport, Hotel Clarion Aviapolis, Original Sokos Hotel Vantaa, Break Sokos Hotel Flamingo, LAK Real Estate
Cities and municipalities: Helsinki, Espoo, Kerava, Vantaa, Tuusula, Järvenpää
Joint municipal authorities and companies: The Helsinki Regional Transport Authority HSL, The Helsinki-Uusimaa Regional Council, Helsinki Business Hub
Organisations promoting interests: The Finnish Freight Forwarding and Logistics Association, The Business Association Vantaan Yrittäjät, Business Finland, the Finnish Business Travel Association FBTA and The Association of Finnish Travel Industry SMAL
Ministries and actors with national funding: The Ministry of Transport and Communications, The Centre for Economic Development, Traffic and the Environment, and The Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra
Universities and higher education institutions: Helsinki University, Aalto University, Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences, Laurea University of Applied Sciences, Helsinki Metropolia University of Applied Sciences
Green Deal Manifesto
The Avia network wants to make the Helsinki-Vantaa International Airport and Aviapolis the most climate friendly and sustainable area in the entire world. It is an ambitious target, which will be reached by innovations and cooperation. Flowing travel chains enable mobility by combining different means of transport: in the future flights, rail and road transports complement each other for seamless services.
This aim is in line with the EU action plan for green development “The New Green Deal”. Sustainable growth, climate neutrality and ecology are its main targets.
The Helsinki-Vantaa International Airport is vital for the financial growth of Finland. The Avia network wants to be a forerunner in furthering clean and smart mobility. Together we can create a new kind of responsible travel and transport, respecting the environment and creating new jobs, along with welfare.