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Established just ahead of the Winter War, Halli Airport celebrates its 80th anniversary

Press release
Article published
7.10.2020 at 08:31
Halli airports terminal building
This year marks 80 years since an airport was opened in Halinkangas, in the former municipality of Kuorevesi, along with aircraft factories owned by the Karhumäki brothers and the Finnish state. Today, the same location is home to Halli Airport, which is part of Finavia’s network.

“Halli Airport now primarily serves the Finnish Defence Forces. The aircraft of the Finnish Aviation Academy, Patria Pilot Training and the local aviation club are also a common sight at the airport. A particular feature of our operations is collaboration between various parties to ensure smooth flight and practice activities. Halli Airport continues to build on its rich heritage as an important part of aviation in Finland,” says Senior Vice President Joni Jolkkonen, Director of Airport Networks at Finavia.

The airport’s roots can be traced back to the months preceding the Winter War

The construction of the airport in the Halinkangas area of Kuorevesi began in 1939 on the initiative of Field Marshal Mannerheim. The Karhumäki brothers began building an aircraft factory around the same time. The state-owned aircraft manufacturing company Valtion lentokonetehdas expanded its operations to a new location next to the new airport in Halinkangas. Its successor, the Patria Aerostructures manufacturing facility, still operates at the airport.

The Tampere-based Central Aviation Depot (Ilmailuvarikko) established a test flight unit at the new airport in 1940 and began test flight activities. Built as a gravel field, the airport had a landing area that was approximately 1,200 metres long and 800 metres wide. Halli became the established name of the airport and also the local village.

The runway was subsequently paved and extended on a couple of occasions, reaching its current length of 2,601 metres in the 1960s. Halli Airport has been part of Finavia’s network since the 1950s, which is when the KAR-AIR airline began operating flights there. The airport was used for passenger traffic to varying degrees over the decades that followed, until passenger traffic ended entirely in the 1990s.

The 80th anniversary of Halli Airport will be celebrated on Thursday, 8 October 2020. The event will be organised in cooperation between Lentovarikon kilta, the Finnish Defence Forces, the City of Jämsä, Finavia, Patria Aviation Oy, Veljekset Karhumäki Oy and Lentotekniikan kilta. The event is open to the public and will begin at the Draken memorial in the centre of Halli at 2 pm. For more information, please contact Lentovarikon kilta.

Finavia’s airport network consists of 21 airports, 19 of which are passenger airports. The airports at Halli and Utti are used exclusively for military aviation and general aviation.

Read more about Finavia's and it's airport network's history

People & Aviation