JÄMI - (ICAO code EFJM) is an airfield and sporting centre of Jämijärvi town.
The German Aeronautical Sports Association , Deutscher Luftsportverein, visited Finland 1934 to present gliding. The visit was largely reported by the press and the popularity of gliding increased. The magazine "Suomen Kuvalehti" arranged in the same year a competition to find a proper airfield for gliders. The competition was won by a farmer Arvo Kontti from Jämijärvi who in his letter proposed Soininharju in Jämi. The first official flight in Jämi took place 26. of July 1935. In all the first summer there were 912 flights and in the second summer as much as 4364.
Gliding was an exhibition sport in the Olympic games in Berlin 1936. The International Olympic committee decided in 1938 to include gliding as one of the sports in the Olympic games in Helsinki 1940. The Gliding school of Jämijärvi was obvious place for the Olympic gliding competition. However the second world war halted the preparations and the 1940 Olympics did not take place.
Glider flying at Jämi 1950s
The airfield at Jämi was the national training centre of the Finnish Aeronautical Association until the end of 1970's when the training centre moved closer to the capital Helsinki at Räyskälä airfield. The Jämi Foundation was established to safeguard the continuation of operations in Jämi. Even today the foundation is the operator of the airfield. In addition to gliding the activities now include parachuting, hang- and paragliding, ultra light flying, and model flying. Several camps, competitions and other events of different air sports are arranged in the summertime at Jämi. The first air show at Jämi took place in 1935 and the latest 2016. You can visit the exhibition in the heritage room of Jämi which is open daily during the competition.
Full scale Aero L-39 Albatros make touch-and-go landing to runway 15 / Jämi Fly In & Airshow 2011. Photo © Marko Rintanen
Jämi airfield located at the Hämeenkangas ridge area with its surrounding mires is a valuable location due to its natural features and species. The landscape is dominated by ridges covered in pine forest and lichen filled heathland forests. At lower altitudes the terrain is dotted with raised bogs and springs. Hämeenkangas is primarily a military training area, and secondly a hiking area. Restricted military areas mean that there are limits on how the area can be used for recreation. Hikings maps and other useful information for exploring Jämi Airfield surroundings you can find from here.
Finland's concept of public access rights, or so-called everyman's rights, refer to the right of everyone in Finland to enjoy outdoor pursuits regardless of who owns or occupies an area. Read more here.
© Teemu Hietakari