An understanding of how aviation is handled in Helsinki and Finland
Keywords:aeromobility, airports, policies, investments, driving forces, Helsinki
In conventional aviation research, airport development is often illustrated as ’closed’ and interlinked by transport systems that facilitate passenger transport; airlines provide the capacity in airspace, while airports provide the capacity for airlines and passengers on the ground. However in this article, we examine the driving forces behind the increase in the number of passengers through a social aeromobility approach and using a case study of Helsinki airport, drawing on stakeholders’ interviews. The main argument of the article is that the development of the airport network in Finland is a consequence of social processes and discussions involving multiple stakeholders with different local and global perspectives, where aviation policy is related to the narrative: ‘Finland is an island’. Further, we argue that such a narrative helps stimulate a political awareness of aviation, and this motivates the acceptance of large investments in infrastructure. In conclusion, the article therefore also puts forward the view that aviation development theoretically must be understood as more than a ‘global flow of machines in the aviation system’, and that the relationship between places and flying needs to be brought much more to the fore in future aeromobility research.