75 years since the first landing at Malmi

Friends of Malmi Airport Society
Press release 13 December 2011
Available for publication

AB Aerotransport's
AB Aerotransport's "Södermanland" at Malmi Airport on 16 December 1936. In the background is the unfinished hangar, which upon completion in 1937 was the second largest in Europe. Photo: Aarne Pietinen

On Friday 16 December 2011, 75 years have passed since the first aircraft, a Tuisku biplane of Finnish Air Force, landed at the unfinished airport of Helsinki at Tattarisuo, Malmi. On the same day the airport was opened for scheduled traffic with the Junkers Ju-52 "Södermanland" of the Swedish carrier AB Aerotransport arriving in Helsinki from Stockholm via Turku.

The opening of the airport was of great significance to the internationalizing young nation. The floatplane and skiplane traffic - plagued by no-fly periods caused by freezing and melting ice twice a year - was converted to use land airports, and year-round air traffic to the capital began. However, it took another 18 months before Malmi Airport was completed. The grand opening ceremony of the architecturally superb airport took place on 15 May 1938.

In 75 years, the milieu of Malmi Airport has not changed significantly. As a still active airport it is an exceptionally well preserved aviation environment from the early years of commercial aviation. As an authentic 1930's international airport, Malmi with its runways has been included in the inventory of built cultural environments of national significance. The Airport has also been included in the Finnish selection of the international DoCoMoMo workgroup, and twice on the global List of 100 Most Endangered Sites by the World Monuments Fund. Today, Malmi Airport is the biggest and most time-honored center of professional pilot training in Finland.

The Friends of Malmi Airport Society (http://www.pelastamalmi.org/en), founded in 2002, is a non-profit civic organization aiming to preserve the Airport and to develop, promote and support the prerequisites of its operations.

More information:

Raine Haikarainen
Chairman, Friends of Malmi Airport
Tel. (+358 40) 5539464

Related article (Aero magazine 1/1937)