Václav Havel Airport Prague will be increasing its capacity. Prime Minister Andrej Babiš (ANO) and Finance Minister of Alena Schillerová (for ANO) announced the Finance Ministry approved a 16 billion CZK investment for expanding Terminal 2 in three stages. Other projects such as parallel runway or railway connection will be dealt with separately, according to the market situation.
The number of passengers going through Václav Havel Airport has been increasing, and is approaching capacity. In 2018, it handled 16.8 million passengers, and increase of 9% although takeoffs and landings were up only 5%.The airport is on track to break that record this year.
“We want Václav Havel Airport to be truly a world airport,” Finance Minister Schillerova said at a press conference. On twitter, she added that the investment would come from the airport’s own resources and would not burden public finances.
The extension of Terminal 2 should gradually increase the airport’s capacity up to 30 million passengers per year. Work should be finished by 2028. Terminal 2 handles flights within the Schengen Zone, covering much of Europe.
The investment in the extension should amount to 9 billion CZK, with the additional 7 billion CZK going to associated work such as taxiways, a parking garage, an elevated road and other roads in front of the terminal.
The projects calls for nine new boarding areas with boarding bridges and gateways for short and medium-haul aircraft, and five alternative aircraft stands for long-haul flights.
Prague Airport board chairman Václav Řehoř has long advocated expanding the airport capacity. “The implementation of this first step of Prague Airport’s long-term development plans will contribute to the increase of air transport in the Czech Republic, including the possibility of opening new flights,” he said. Prague Airport is the company that operates Václav Havel Airport.
The construction of a new runway was also discussed at the press conference. This should run parallel to the current main 6/24 and after its commissioning the secondary 12/30 runway would close.
“The new runway would make life worse for 2,000 or a maximum of 2,000 inhabitants of surrounding villages, but it would greatly relieve 200,000 people by reducing noise pollution for densely populated parts of Prague 6, 13, 17,” Prague Airport’s Řehoř said.
The construction of the railway connection between the airport and the center of Prague was also mentioned. It has already started with the renovation of the Negrelli Viaduct.
“We have divided the whole construction into nine stages due to the permit process, with some of which we have already made quite some progress,” Railway Infrastructure Administration (SŽDC) CEO Jiří Svoboda said.
Prime Minister Babiš said he wants the SŽDC to complete the rail link to the airport at the same time the terminal extension opens in 2028. “It is necessary to coordinate both major investment projects,” he said.
Václav Havel Airport Prague opened April 5, 1937, as Prague Ruzyně Airport. Right after former president Václav Havel’s death on Dec. 18, 2011, an online petition asked the government to rename it to Václav Havel International Airport. This name change took place Oct. 5, 2012, on what would have been Havel’s 76th birthday.