Ever since I was a little kid I was interested in flying. I loved jumping down from the roof of my grandparent's sauna, of course in a huge pile of snow. I built Apollo shuttle underneath the kitchen table, and spent hours there as an astronaut. When I grew up and started travelling, I always asked from the flight attendant to get me a permission to go visit the cockpit during the flight. In 2004, travelling by myself in Borneo, I got a chance to tandem skydive from 4000 meters from an old C-130 Hercules. My heart starts beating really hard when Hornets fly above. I still run outside if I hear a helicopter passing by. I love the take offs and landings when travelling. Aviation is written in my blood, and I have to find out where and why.
So six years ago, when I found out that I would get to design a project for the Finnish Defence Forces, I was thrilled! One of the patterns I designed for the project was a wall paper of a F-18 Hornet. Soon customers started asking for Taiga Colors collection items with aviation patterns. December 2015 I started organizing contacts and photo permits to Helsinki-Malmi Airport. I wanted to design an airplane pattern to accompany the Taiga Colors icebreakers, cranes and urban Helsinki patterns. I was very kindly assisted by aerobatics flyer, director and ballet dancer Sami Saikkonen, who introduced me to the right people and showed me around the airport. My interest at this point was purely visual.
Then what happened? I found out about the alarming situation of the airport and turned into an Malmi Airport -activist in no time. And launched an aviation themed 60°15′14″N 025°02′39″E -collection with 25 different pieces, varying from cushion covers to evening clutches.
So what is so special about Helsinki-Malmi Airport?
Helsinki-Malmi Airport is probably the world's best preserved airport from the early days of passenger air traffic. The beautiful airport with its functionalism architecture buildings was built in 1936. It is the most important pilot training airport and the second busiest airport in whole Finland. It is a recreational area for locals, and has for 80 years been a free open biotope area with unique fauna and flora, with a number of threatened and near-threatened species. Europa Nostra and the European Investment Bank Institute selected Malmi Airport as one of Europe's Seven Most Endangered cultural heritage sites in 2016.
The city of Helsinki has plans to close the airport down and make it a residential area. It is quite obvious that it is in the interest of only a small group of politicians and developers to close the airport. Anyone flying into Finland can see that there is no shortage of land in this country, even in the greater Helsinki area. By closing down Helsinki-Malmi Airport, the only international unscheduled airport in 150 km range, the city of Helsinki is not only destroying the future of aviation in Finland but also threatening democracy in Finland. All the polls have shown that the residents of Helsinki and Uusimaa province want to keep the airport, only 15 % are in favor of construction. Lex Malmi, the citizen's initiative to retain the airport in aviation, was supported by over 55 000 people, and it proceeded to the Parliament in 2016, but it was walked over and didn't get a proper processing. You can read about the current situation of the airport here.
Live Long and Prosper, Malmi Airport!