A rare treat: Celebrating the anniversary of Helsinki Airport
Helsinki Airport was opened in summer 1952, just before the Olympic Games in Helsinki. The airport celebrates its 60th anniversary on Thursday, 7 June 2012. To mark the day, Finavia is organising special festivities for aviation enthusiasts.
The airport originally built in the backwoods has in 60 years evolved into the North European leader in long-haul traffic. The direct and fast connections to approximately 130 destinations all around the world help create well-being and competitive edge for the entire country.
Helsinki Airport's strong position as a transit airport between Europe and Asia particularly improves Finavia's ability to maintain good airport coverage in Finland.
In the first full year of operations in 1953, the number of passengers at Helsinki Airport was 168,000; by 2011, the number had climbed to 15 million.
The economic significance of Helsinki Airport as a major provider of employment has increased together with the number of passengers. Today, nearly 20,000 people work at the airport. The total employment impact of Finnish air traffic is estimated at more than 100,000 people.
The first planes to land at the airport were Tiira and Lokki, DC3 planes owned by Aero Oy. They touched down on 26 June 1952. One of these, Lokki, will be exhibited throughout the summer by Runway 1. You can admire Lokki from, among other locations, the new viewing terrace.
The airport was inaugurated on 10 July 1952 with the Olympic flags flying and Prime Minister Urho Kekkonen bringing the Government's greetings. After the ceremony, the airport was used for Olympic traffic until mid-August. A total of 1,700 flights by 26 airlines took place during the period.
Airline traffic was officially transferred from the old Malmi airport on 26 October 1952.
Festivities on 7 June 2012
Celebrations begin officially at 7 a.m. with the opening of the viewing terrace. During the day, vintage airplanes will arrive at the scene.
Several airlines intend to fly to Helsinki Airport with aircraft painted in the style of past decades. Moreover, Lufthansa brings its retro crew. Particular attention should be paid around midday, as the Air Forces and the DC Association will fly over the airport.
During the entire anniversary week, the apron area will be open for tourist rounds. The registration time is closed May 29.
To see the entire anniversary programme, visit the Finavia web site at www.helsinki-vantaa.fi.
Other events during the summer
The atmosphere of days gone by can also be enjoyed at restaurants and cafés at Helsinki Airport. The Wine & View bar will serve special wines and cognac from 1952. The Fly Inn restaurant will celebrate the 60th anniversary with a special HelsinkiMenu.
An anniversary exhibition will open at the Finnish Aviation Museum on 12 June.
In July, the permanent photo exhibition at Terminal 2 will display images from the history of Helsinki Airport.