Bulletin 15 May 2015: 77-year-old Helsinki-Malmi Airport fascinates internationally

May 15, 2015
Photo: Pauliina Hakulinen

Helsinki-Malmi Airport celebrates its 77th anniversary today. To mark the occasion, the HELSINKI sign, built in 1937 between the runways in compliance with aviation regulations and then slowly buried under grass over the decades, has been restored to its original glory.  The text is 64 meters (210 ft) wide and the letters six meters (20 ft) high.

The Airport fascinates culture and aviation circles internationally

The future of Malmi Airport is threatened by City of Helsinki’s undertaking to grab the area to residential use. The Airport as a whole has already been twice selected to World Monuments Fund’s List of 100 Most Endangered Sites. This year Malmi Airport has been proposed, among others, to Europa Nostra Finland to compete for the status of the Most Endangered Cultural Site in Finland.  Malmi Airport has also been included in DOCOMOMO’s Finnish site selection of the modern movement from the late 1920’s to the 1970’s. The Airport’s area as a whole is listed as a built cultural environment of national significance. This inventory by the Ministry of the Environment and the National Board of Antiquities is mentioned in the National Land Use Guidelines, by decision of the Council of State, as an inventory for cultural heritage that is to be taken into account in land use planning as a starting point.

The Airport has lively international aviation activity

Malmi Airport is the only international general aviation airport within 150 km (100 miles) of the capital region, and at present the second busiest airport in Finland by operations. Visiting aircraft from elsewhere in Europe and the rest of the world use Malmi every week. On Sunday 17 May at noon a group of 25 German aviators will arrive on their way to St. Petersburg, and the next Sunday (24 May) more than 30 British aviators will visit Malmi on their tour of Finland.  The British visitors are from the Flying Farmers’ Association that organizes joint tours around Europe. Finland is their latest conquest. On 15-16 August 2015 a big international event (Finland International Airshow) will take place at Malmi Airport.

The anniversary of the Airport and a Fly-In on 22-24 May 2015

The anniversary of the Airport will be celebrated with a Fly-In on 22-24 May. Dozens of aircraft will arrive from all over Europe. The main event is on Saturday 23 May with presentations, programme for the public, introductory guided tours at the airport, demos of aviation activities and a casual evening party. Flights can be purchased. The Airport’s restaurant and terrace are open during the event. On Sunday 24 May at 1pm the Stadi Festive Orchestra will play, and at 2pm a guided history and nature walk around the Airport will be arranged. Admission to the event is free. The programme is available at www.helsinkiflyin.fi.

More information:

The situation of Malmi Airport: Friends of Malmi Airport, Chairman Timo Hyvönen, tel. +358 50 374 8371, puheenjohtaja@malmiairport.fi

HELSINKI sign: land surveyor Klaus Wesa, tel. +358 50 501 7672, klaus.wesa@saunalahti.fi

World Monuments Fund: http://www.wmf.org/project/helsinki-malmi-airport

Europa Nostra Finland (in Finnish): http://www.kotiseutuliitto.fi/suomen-uhanalaisin-kulttuuriperintokohde-hakuun-11-ehdotusta

Ministry of the Environment and National Board of Antiquities, listing of Malmi (in Finnish): http://www.rky.fi/read/asp/r_kohde_det.aspx?KOHDE_ID=1560

Malmi  Airport, statistics of operations: https://sites.google.com/site/malmifactsandfigures

Flying Farmers’ Association: http://ffa.org.uk/

Finland International Airshow: http://www.finlandairshow.fi/

Images and videos:

Inauguration of Helsinki-Malmi Airport in 1938 (silent): http://yle.fi/aihe/artikkeli/2008/10/29/malmin-lentokentan-vihkiaiset#media=34695

Restored HELSINKI sign, 15 May 2015: http://www.malmiairport.fi/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/helsinkiteksti.jpg (Kuva: Pauliina Hakulinen)

Photograph from the official inauguration in 1938: http://www.malmiairport.fi/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/vihki2.jpg (FoMA’s archives)

Invitation to Malmi’s inauguration: http://www.malmiairport.fi/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/vihki.jpg (FoMA’s archives)

Malmi Airport is at present a popular site for mass events: http://www.malmiairport.fi/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/malminyt.jpg  (Sampo Kiviniemi 2014)

The images can be used freely (please mention the source).