The history of Finavia

The history of Finavia goes hand in hand with the progress of international aviation and society in general. For over a hundred years, air traffic has enabled Finns to keep up with a changing world, cultivate foreign trade and establish international relations. We will also need functional and diverse air traffic in the future. It is essential for Finland to be part of the global air route network.

1922: The early history of the company in owning and administering airports reaches back to the year 1922 when air traffic administration was moved to the Ministry of Transport and Public Works (which later became the Ministry of Transport and Communications). The ministry took on the responsibilities of an aviation authority and developing air traffic and airports.

1972: After many different stages, the aviation department of the Ministry of Transport and Communications and the airport department of the Roads and Waterways Administration were merged and became the National Board of Aviation on 1 March 1972. It took on the administration of twenty airports, of which sixteen had regular traffic and four joint-use airports had permanent Air Commands of the Finnish Air Force.

1991: With the international trend of privatisation, Finland too wanted to separate aviation authority funds from the government budget. The National Board of Aviation became a commercial enterprise in 1991. For the new Civil Aviation Administration, this meant financial independence and a possibility to develop the business and airport services. Official responsibilities were vested in an independent Flight Safety Authority.

2006: The Civil Aviation Administration changed its name to Finavia. At the same time, the Flight Safety Authority was moved to the Finnish Civil Aviation Authority, a completely separate government agency. Finavia’s role as a business enterprise was further emphasised. It administered the infrastructure and air navigation services of over 25 airports.

2010: Finavia Corporation was founded on 1 January 2010 when the Civil Aviation Administration operations were transferred completely to the government-owned company.

2017: The air navigation and air traffic control services were separated to a new company, ANS Finland, on 1 April 2017.

Finavia today

History of the airport network

1910s to 1940s: Utti 1918; Kauhava 1929; Turku (Artukainen) 1935; Malmi 1936; Tampere (Härmälä); Vaasa; Kemi and Jyväskylä 1937; Halli 1939; Rovaniemi and Maarianhamina 1940; Pori 1941; Kuopio 1946

1950s to 1990s: Joensuu 1950; Lappeenranta 1951; Helsinki Airport 1952; Oulu 1953; Turku, Ivalo and Kajaani 1955; Kokkola-Pietarsaari 1960; Tampere Airport and Kittilä 1979. In addition, the following were added to Finavia’s airport network: Savonlinna 1980; Varkaus 1982; Kuusamo 1986 and Enontekiö 1988.

2000s to 2010s: Kauhava airport transferred into the possession of Kasvuyrittäjät Oy in 2015, Lappeenranta airport transferred into the possession of the City of Lappeenranta in 2016, Varkaus airport changed into an unsupervised aerodrome in 2016 and the administration of Malmi airport transferred to the City of Helsinki in 2017.

Finavia’s airport network