A new society to promote preservation of Malmi Airport

25 March 2002

A new society called "Friends of Malmi Airport" has been founded to promote the preservation and the development of the activities of Malmi Airport (= the airfield and the related buildings).

The Society held its founding meeting on 23 March 2002 at Malmi Airport in the presence of 134 founding members. Other societies and companies can also become members of the Society. So far 3 societies have expressed their wish for membership. Commercial counsellor Kalevi Saari was appointed as Chairman, and Tero Auranen, Klaus Bremer, Raine Haikarainen, Kauko Koskinen, Seppo Mannermaa, Erkki Mikola, Sole Molander, Jussi Paju, Hilkka Saarinen, Eino Savolainen and Seppo Sipilä were selected to the Board.

At the first meeting, the Society also decided to aim to organize an annual "Open Doors Day" at Malmi Airport so that the public has a chance to get acquainted with the aviation activities, nature and cultural values of the Airport. The next such event is to be organized in early autumn 2002.

The Society aims to influence the land use planning of Uusimaa province and the general city planning of Helsinki in such a way that Malmi Airport can be preserved as a world-class cultural and historical sight and as the sole airfield suitable for small aircraft in the capital region.

The Society also aims to organize debates regarding Malmi Airport, chances to get acquainted with the nature and the history of the Airport, as well as guided tours of its off-limits areas.

Another goal, funds permitting, will be to arrange introductory flights above the Airport and Helsinki for suitable target audiences such as schoolchildren.

The activity of the Society is independed of political parties and the members represent mostly just themselves, but they are to communicate the activities of the Society to their own interest groups such as municipal and state authorities, politicians, commercial circles, research and educational institutions and hobby organizations. The Chairman of the Society, Mr. Kalevi Saari, is also the Chairman of the Board of Airveteran Ltd, a member of the Board of the DC-3 Society, and actively involved in the Aviation Museum Society. The Vice Chairman, Mr. Tero Auranen, is the Chairman of Malmi Aviation Club. Every person, company and society in favor of preserving Malmi Airport as an active airfield is welcome to be a member of the Society.

The activity of the Society is to commence as soon as possible. More information is available from the Society's Secretary, Mr. Erkki Mikola, to whom membership applications may be adressed, preferrably by e-mail to Erkki.Mikola(at)kotiportti.fi (or by phone 050-3788394).

The lack of housing in Helsinki and the attitude of the general public towards air traffic, private aviation and aviation hobbies are a difficult equation for the City of Helsinki and State officials to solve. The founders and members of the Society wish to assist them in this task and to bring forth points of view showing why maintaining an operating airfield in Helsinki is beneficial.

The new Society aims to develop and promote discussion, activity and practices of Malmi Airport in Finland and even abroad. After all, Malmi is one of the oldest and best-preserved international airports still in active aviation use left in the world.

More information about Malmi Airport and the number of people expected to join the Society is available on the Internet at http://www.pelastamalmi.org.

More information is also available from:

Chairman Kalevi Saari, E-mail: saari.kalevi(at)kolumbus.fi
Vice Chairman Tero Auranen, E-mail: tero.auranen(at)pelastamalmi.org
The Friends of Malmi Airport Society, founded in March 2002, aims to preserve the Airport in its present location and to develop, promote and support its activities. More information about the Society is available on its web page http://www.pelastamalmi.org.