Pilots gathered for a photo at Malmi Airport

May 3, 2016

More than a hundred present, retired and future pilots arrived at Helsinki-Malmi Airport for a group photo on Thursday 28 April 2016. For them the Airport is an important part of history and the present. The photo symbolizes Malmi’s significance to flight, pilot training and aviation safety.

Helsinki-Malmi Airport is the foremost training center of Finnish aviation, where 3/4 of all Finnish pilots have received pilot training. In addition to Patria, of which the State of Finland owns half, there are five private pilot schools and several clubs offering training. With the looming closure of Malmi Airport, Patria’s pilot training will be transferred to Tampere, but all the other pilot schools depend fully on Malmi Airport for their continued operation.

The photo session was organized by a spontaneous non-profit working group of advertising and media professionals. The photos will be made into a poster depicting the significance of Helsinki-Malmi Airport to Finnish pilot training.

– A flight instructor once beautifully crystallized to me what Malmi is about: there has to be an airport for a pilot to take to the sky. Here you are now with all these trained pilots. And there’s one airport. Words fail me now, says the creative director of the photo session, Mr. Johan Alén.

A photo challenge to other groups too

– The group photo and its popularity came as a surprise. I wish to thank the organizers for this excellent idea and for making it happen, says Chairman of Friends of Malmi Airport, Mr. Timo Hyvönen. – Malmi Airport as a historical and functional milieu is clearly important to people also on personal level. This time it was the professional pilots, but a majority of citizens shares this feeling with them.


Hyvönen is already hatching ideas for follow-up events. – Anyone can come to Malmi and take a group picture at this same spot. It’s a kind of a group selfie. Here at the door you can arrange into the same picture, for instance, all the participants of your cultural organization’s annual meeting.

Malmi Airport has been selected as one of the Seven Most Endangered Cultural Heritage Sites in Europe.

The working group behind the photo session will print the result as a poster that will be available for purchase at Helsinki-Malmi Airport in May. The profits will be used to support the work to keep the Airport in aviation use.

Photo: Professional pilots’ group selfie at Helsinki-Malmi Airport.
Photo by Kari Ketola.

The photo may be freely used in reports on this subject, as long as the photographer’s name and the link www.malmiairport.fi are mentioned in its context.