Legislation on transport infrastructure is drafted by the Ministry of Transport and Communications. These statutes, including the Private Roads Act (358/1962), Highways Act (503/2005) and the Rail Tracks Act (110/2007), provide the basic rules for the planning, construction, maintenance and closure of transport infrastructure.
In developing the transport infrastructure and networks, the Ministry's key goal is to ensure safe and effective travel and goods transport. At the same time, effort is made to minimise emissions and other adverse effects.
The Ministry's aim is to enhance the efficiency of infrastructure and system development by seeking new forms of co-operation with various fields and by making use of intelligent transport services.
The Ministry is involved in maintaining and developing the transport infrastructure of the country. Transport infrastructure includes all roads and streets, private roads, railways, maritime and inland waterways, and the metro and tram systems. The Finnish Transport Agency, which operates in the administrative branch of the Ministry and under its guidance, is responsible for road, railway and waterway maintenance. The Transport Agency outsources this work to businesses through competitive tendering.
The Finavia Corporation, a user-financed state-owned limited liability company, is in charge of airports. Municipalities and cities are responsible for their respective street networks and for keeping them in good condition.
Municipal income tax is used to fund the maintenance of these street networks and the investment made in them. Most of Finland's ports are also owned by municipalities. The maintenance and improvement of private roads is generally the responsibility of private road maintenance associations, landowners and various types of communities or companies.
The European Union supports the development of Trans-European transport networks (TEN-T). The TEN-T network includes road, rail and flight connections, together with inland and maritime waterways, in the 27 Member States of the European Union. The purpose of this interoperable transport network is to enhance the EU's internal market and regional cohesion and to promote a sustainable transport system. An equally important goal is to improve regional competitiveness and employment.
The steps to improve the TEN-T network involve, for example, the completion of missing links in major transport routes, eliminating transport bottlenecks and contributing to the functional interoperability of different modes of transport.
The responsibility for implementing infrastructure projects adopted by Parliament lies with the Finnish Transport Agency. The Ministry sets annual targets for the Transport Agency, including ones related to the service standard and condition of infrastructures, safety, and the reduction and prevention of environmental damage. The Transport Agency submits to the Ministry biannual reports detailing the use of funds and the achievement of targets.