Václav Havel Airport Prague
|Václav Havel Airport Prague
Letiště Václava Havla Praha
|Serves||Prague, Czech Republic|
|Focus city for|
|Elevation AMSL||1,247 ft / 380 m|
Václav Havel Airport Prague (Czech: Letiště Václava Havla Praha), formerly Prague Ruzyně International Airport (Czech: Mezinárodní letiště Praha-Ruzyně, Czech pronunciation: [ˈpraɦa ˈrʊzɪɲɛ]), (IATA: PRG, ICAO: LKPR), is the international airport of Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic. It is located 10 kilometres (6 mi) west of the city centre and is, with over 13 million passengers in 2016, the busiest airport in the newer EU member states. It serves as a hub for Czech Airlines as well as a base for Travel Service including its subsidiary brand SmartWings, and is also a base for low-cost carriers Wizz Air and Ryanair. The airport is able to handle wide-body aircraft including the Airbus A380.
- 1 History
- 2 Further development
- 3 Infrastructure
- 4 Airlines and destinations
- 5 Statistics
- 6 Other facilities
- 7 Ground transportation
- 8 Accidents and incidents
- 9 See also
- 10 Notes
- 11 References
- 12 External links
Prague–Ruzyně Airport began operations on 5 April 1937, but Czechoslovak civil aviation history started at the military airport in Prague–Kbely in 1919. The Prague Aviation Museum is now found at Kbely Airport.
Due to insufficient capacity of the Kbely airport in the middle of the 1930s, the Government decided to develop a new State Civil Airport in Ruzyně. One of the major awards Prague Ruzyně Airport received include Diploma and Gold Medal granted in 1937 at the occasion of the International Art and Technical Exhibition in Paris (Exposition Internationale des Arts et Techniques dans la Vie Moderne also known as Paris 1937 World's Fair) for the technical conception of the central airport, primarily the architecture of the check-in building (nowadays known as Terminal 4) designed by architect Ing. A. Beneš.
Other awards were granted for modernisation during individual airport development phases. All these facts have been increasing the interest of carriers in using Prague airport. In one of the most dramatic moments in its history, the airport was seized by Soviet paratroopers on the night of 20–21 August 1968, who then facilitated the landing of Soviet troops and transports for the invasion of Czechoslovakia.
The airport has an excellent location with respect both to its short distance from the centre of Prague and within the European area. Moreover, the Ruzyně fields provide opportunities for further expansion of the airport according to the increasing capacity demand. The airport serves as a hub of the trans-European airport network.
The political and economic changes affected the seventy years of existence of Prague–Ruzyně Airport. Some new air transportation companies and institutions were founded and some ceased operation since then. Ten entities have been responsible for airport administration over time, including the new construction and development. Until the 1990s, there were two or three-decade gaps before the major modernisation of Prague–Ruzyně Airport began to match the current capacity requirements.
An online petition organised by one of the best-known Slovak film directors, Fero Fenič, calling on the government and the Parliament to rename Prague Ruzyně Airport to Václav Havel International Airport attracted – in just one week after 20 December 2011 – the support of over 65,000 signatories both within and outside the Czech Republic. A rendition of the airport with the proposed Václav Havel name in the form of his signature followed by his typical heart symbol suffix was included in the blog's article in support of renaming of the airport. This name change took place on 5 October 2012 on what would have been Havel's 76th birthday. However, the PRG name of the airport for IATA and ICAO will remain the same.
As the capacity of the airport has been reaching its limit for the last couple of years (as of 2005), further development of the airport is being considered. Besides regular repairs of the existing runways, Prague Airport (Czech: Letiště Praha s.p.) began the preparations for building a new runway, parallel to the 06/24 runway. The construction with estimated costs of CZK 5–7 billion was scheduled to begin in 2007, and the new runway marked 06R/24L (also called the BIS runway) was to be put into service in 2010. However, because of many legal problems and the protests of people who live close to the airport premises, the construction has not yet begun. Despite these problems, the project has support from the government, and is expected to be completed by the end of 2014. 
It will be over 3,500 metres (11,483 ft) long. Located about 1,500 metres (4,921 ft) southeast of the present main runway, the 24L runway will be equipped with a category III ILS, allowing landing and taking off under bad weather conditions.
Prague Airport states that besides increasing the airport capacity, the new runway system will greatly reduce the noise level in some densely inhabited areas of Prague. This should be achieved by reorganising the air traffic space around the airport, and shifting the traffic corridors after putting the two parallel runways into service. The vision of heavy traffic raised many protests from the suburban communities directly surrounding the airport. On 6 November 2004, local referenda were held in two Prague suburbs – Nebušice and Přední Kopanina – giving official support to the local authorities for active opposition against the construction of the parallel runway.
The construction of a railway connection between the airport and Prague city centre is also in the planning stage. The track will be served by express trains with special fares, connecting non-stop the airport with the city centre, and local trains fully integrated into Prague integrated transit system.
General runway reconstruction
The main runway 06/24 was reconstructed from 2012 - 2013 due to poor technical conditions. During reconstruction, runway 12/30 was the only usable runway as runway 04/22 is closed permanently. The runway reconstruction was originally planned for three stages. The first stage in 2012, the second stage in 2013 and the last stage in 2014. However, runway 12/30 (which would be used during the reconstruction of the main runway) is not equipped for low visibility landings as it offers only ILS CAT I landings. In addition, the approach path of runway 12/30 goes above high density population areas (such as Kladno and Prague 6). Therefore, the second and the third stage of the runway reconstruction had to be merged so the works could be finished in 2013.
Prague Airport has two main passenger terminals, two general aviation terminals, as well as a cargo facility. Most flights depart Prague Airport from the North Terminals (Terminal 1 and 2). The South Terminals (Terminal 3 and 4) handle a few irregular flights, as well as VIP flights, special flights and small aircraft.
- Terminal 1 is used for flights outside the Schengen Area; it was opened in 1997, it includes concourses A and B
- Terminal 2 is used for flights within the Schengen area; it was opened on 17 January 2006, it includes concourses C and D
- Terminal 3 is used for private and charter flights; it was opened in 1997
- Terminal 4 is used exclusively for VIP flights and state visits; it is the oldest part of the airport which was opened on 5 April 1937
There are also two freight terminals, Cargo Terminal 1 is operated by Menzies Aviation Czech while Cargo Terminal 2 is operated by Skyport.
The airport contains two runways in service: 06/24 (till April 1993 07/25) and 12/30 (till May 2012 13/31). Former runway 04/22 is permanently closed for take-offs and landings and is used for taxiing and parking only. The most used runway is 24 due to the prevailing western winds. Runway 30 is also used often. Runway 06 is used rarely, while runway 12 is used only exceptionally.
The company operating the airport is Prague Airport (Letiště Praha, a. s.), a joint-stock company that has one shareholder, the Ministry of Finance. The company was founded in February 2008, as part of a privatisation process involving the Airport Prague (Správa Letiště Praha, s.p.) state enterprise. This action was in accordance with the Czech Republic Government Memorandum Nr. 888, which had been passed on 9 July 2008. On 1 December 2008, Prague Airport took all rights and duties formerly held by Správa Letiště Praha, s.p., and Prague Airports took all business authorisations, certificates, employees, and licenses from the former company. The head office of Prague Airport is in Prague 6. The former state-owned enterprise had its head office on the airport property.
Airlines and destinations
The following airlines operate regular scheduled and charter flights to and from Prague:
|ASL Airlines Belgium||Brno, Katowice, Liège|
|ASL Airlines Ireland||Paris–Charles de Gaulle|
|China Airlines Cargo||Abu Dhabi, Amsterdam, Bangkok–Suvarnabhumi, Luxembourg, Taipei–Taoyuan|
|Czech Airlines||Belgrade, Chișinău, Sofia|
operated by Genex
operated by ASL Airlines Switzerland
|Qatar Airways Cargo||Doha, Budapest|
|Silk Way Airlines||Hong Kong, Baku|
Annual passenger numbers
|2009||11 643 366||-7.82||42,476||-11.27|
It was the 38th busiest airport in Europe in 2016.
The top 15 destinations in 2015 were:
|1||Paris–Charles de Gaulle||650,244|
|6||Rome–Fiumicino Leonardo da Vinci||357,331|
|2||United Kingdom||1,138,899 passengers|
Czech Airlines has its head office, the APC Building, on the grounds of Prague Airport. On 30 December 2009 CSA announced that it will sell its head office to the airport for CZK 607 million.
Buses of DPP, the Prague Public Transit Co., stop at both terminals 1 and 2 frequently:
- Bus No. 100 to Metro line B Zličín (15 min). Departures every 10–30 minutes 5:41-23:36.
- Bus No. 119 to Metro line A Nádraží Veleslavín (16 min). Departures every 5–10 minutes 4:23-23:44.
- Bus No. 191 to Metro line A Petřiny (24 min) and Metro line B Anděl (48 min). Departures every 15–40 minutes 4:57-23:11.
- Night bus No. 510 going via Arbesovo náměstí (36 min) and I. P. Pavlova (42 min). Departures from the airport every 20–30 minutes 23:57-3:57.
Schedules can be found online on spojeni.dpp.cz. Ticket purchased in advance (kiosk in arrival hall or vending machine at bus stop) costs 32 CZK (90-min validity with unlimited number of transfers), ticket purchased at bus driver is 40 CZK. Alternatively, there is also 30-min ticket for 24 CZK, 24-hours ticket for 110 CZK and 72-hours ticket for 310 CZK.
A Czech Railways public bus service, AE – AiportExpress, connects Terminals 1 and 2 with Praha hlavní nádraží every 30 minutes (5:30-21:00, ticket at driver 60 CZK). The journey takes 30 to 50 minutes.
Accidents and incidents
- On 30 October 1975, Aeroflot Flight 141, during approach a Tupolev Tu-154 crashed half a kilometer short of runway of the airport. Most of the passengers survived the crash, but many died in the fire that followed. Altogether 66 people died out of 100 passengers and crew members. The crash was the first loss of and first fatal accident involving the Tu-154.
- On 30 October 1975, Inex-Adria Aviopromet Flight 450, an Douglas DC-9-32 hit high ground during an approach in fog to Prague Ruzyně Airport. 75 of the 120 passengers and crew on board were killed.
- On 29 March 1989, two teenagers from Czechoslovakia armed with grenades and shotguns hijacked Malev Flight 640 at Prague Ruzyně Airport, and flew the Tupolev Tu-154B with 15 hostages to Frankfurt Airport before surrendering.
- Number of passengers including domestic, international and transit
- EAD Basic. Ead.eurocontrol.int.
- "Petition to name the Prague – Ruzyne airport Václav Havel International Airport". Retrieved 27 December 2011.
- "Václav Havel International Airport". Retrieved 27 December 2011.
- "Parallel runway". Retrieved 3 June 2015.
- Petr Švec, "Letištní expres: cesta za 120 korun" in Mladá fronta DNES, 12 February 2009
- "About Airport." Prague Airport. Retrieved on 25 February 2012.
- "Contacts." Prague Airport. Retrieved on 25 February 2012. "Letiště Praha, a. s. K Letišti 6/1019, 160 08 Praha 6"
- "Basic Information." Prague Airport. 14 August 2006. Retrieved on 25 February 2012. "Airport Operator: Airport Prague Its office registered at: Prague – Ruzyne Airport, 160 08 Prague 6"
- "ZÁKLADNÍ INFORMACE." Prague Airport. 29 August 2006. Retrieved on 25 February 2012. "Provozovatel letiště: Letiště Praha s.p. Letiště Praha – Ruzyně, 160 08 Praha 6"
- prg.aero - Route map and Timetable retrieved 26 December 2016
- "New destinations and carriers". prg.aero.
- L, J (3 February 2016). "CSA Czech Airlines Adds Kazan Service from late-April 2016". Airline Route. Retrieved 3 February 2016.
- Radio Praha, Czech Airlines plots course for four new destinations in summer timetable, 07.12.2017
- Drum, Bruce (3 October 2014). "Flydubai is coming to Bratislava, Prague and Sofia". WorldAirlineNews.com. Retrieved 17 December 2014.
- Milan Hnátek. "Pegasus ještě nezačal létat a již vyvolal rozruch". ČeskoTurecko.cz. Retrieved 3 June 2015.
- "Ryanair W16 Milan / Rome Operation Changes". airlineroute. Retrieved 9 February 2016.
- "Sichuan Airlines Scheduled Prague Service form Aug 2016". routesonline. Retrieved 14 July 2016.
- "SmartWings starts a new regular connection between Prague and London (Gatwick)". SmartWings. Retrieved 26 November 2014.
- "Wizz Air timetable". Wizz Air.
- Prague Airport Traffic Report 2005
- Prague Airport Traffic Report 2003
- Prague Airport Traffic Report 2006
- Prague Airport Traffic Report 2007
- Prague Airport Traffic Report 2008
- Prague Airport Traffic Report 2009
- Prague Airport Traffic Report 2010
- Prague Airport Traffic Report 2011
- Prague Airport Traffic Report 2012
- Prague Airport Traffic Report 2013
- Prague Airport Traffic Report December 2014
- Prague Airport Traffic Report December 2015
- "TR15" (PDF).
- "The Settlement of Land Relations between Czech Airlines and the Prague Airport Authority to Increase the Value of Both Companies Prior to their Privatisation." Czech Airlines. 22 August 2008. Retrieved on 15 February 2010.
- "Imprint." Czech Airlines. Retrieved on 4 February 2010. "Letiště Ruzyně Prague 6 160 08 Czech republic"
- Heijmans, Philip. "Czech Airlines sells headquarters to Prague Airport." The Prague Post. 6 January 2010. Retrieved on 31 January 2014.
- "Contacts." Travel Service Airlines. Retrieved on 14 November 2011. "Travel Service, a. s. K Letišti 1068/30 160 08 Prague 6 Czech Republic"
- "Contact." Smart Wings. Retrieved on 19 February 2012. "Office at Prague airport K letisti 1068/30 160 08 Praha 6 Czech Republic"
- Home page. Civil Aviation Authority. Retrieved on 25 February 2012. "Postal and visitor's address: Civil Aviation Authority Czech Republic Václav Havel Airport Prague 160 08 Praha 6"
- Accident description for CCCP-85023 at the Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved on 2016-12-31.
- PlaneCrashInfo.com. PlaneCrashInfo.com (23 October 1975).
- "2 Czech Youths Hijack Jetliner to West Germany". Los Angeles Times. 30 March 1989. Retrieved 19 August 2010.
Media related to Prague Ruzyně Airport at Wikimedia Commons