- Hans Weber
- December 4, 2023
Prague Airport reveals development plans for increased capacity, improved passenger experience and new routes
Prague Airport has revealed its 2030 development plans, which aim to make the airport carbon neutral and create a faster check-in, a better range of services, bespoke parking and new direct connections.
Overall, Prague Airport expects to grow its retail area from 11,000m2 to 16,000m2 of shops and restaurants. It will also add 220 hotel rooms and 8,400m2 of lounge space. The implementation of accelerated check-in processes as well as new shops, restaurants and services will start in 2024.
The development and expansion of the terminals will increase the capacity to 21.2 million passengers per annum, and double the peak hourly capacity. Martin Kučera, executive director of airport operations, commented, “The Central Security Checkpoint at Terminal 1 will improve passenger comfort, enable more efficient use of capacity, and the transfer of part of the Schengen traffic to Terminal 1.
“Expanding the capacity of Terminal 2 will then ensure multifunctional operation and flexibility in both Schengen and non-Schengen regimes. In addition, individual carriers will always have only one specific terminal assigned for check-ins, which will also improve passenger orientation around the airport.”
As part of the development plans, Prague Airport intends to continuously reduce CO2 emissions in accordance with the conditions of the Airport Carbon Accreditation program. Alongside targeting carbon neutrality, it also plans to reduce the noise pollution from the airport. By 2025, 500 flats and/or houses will be equipped with ventilation, and the airport will continuously update its noise abatement measures with an emphasis on night-time operations.
The airport’s 2030 development plans include securing 200 direct connections, 37 long-haul routes, and 10,000 parking places and creating a capacity-sufficient trolley bus connection by 2024 and a train connection by 2030. The passenger and aircraft handling capacity development will run from 2029 to 2033.
According to the airport, the new plans are supported by over 90% of Czech citizens. Based on the Median agency survey for Prague Airport in August 2022, they consider the construction of transportation to the airport to be most important, alongside its modernization and digitization, the expansion of air connections to new destinations, sustainable development, and the development of operational capacities.
Josef Fišer, sales and marketing director at the Median agency, said, “The development of air transport in general is supported by 89% of respondents, which is 7% more than in 2019.” A total of 2,042 respondents aged 18-65 took part in the survey.
Jiří Pos, chairman of the Prague Airport board of directors, stated, “The airport development will be based on the principles of sustainability, innovation and complexity. We are glad that the Ministry of Finance has approved the update to our long-term concept and development strategy, with the plan to increase airport capacities as one of its main pillars. We estimate the first phase implementation costs at 32 billion crowns (US$1.37bn). In this context, I would like to emphasize that no development projects will be funded by taxpayers. We will cover implementation costs of all visions and plans from our own financial resources.”
The Czech minister of finance Zbyňek Stanjura said, “That is why we fully support the development of Václav Havel Airport Prague. Thanks to it, the airport will contribute to the influx of investments, a richer economy, and international trade growth. I am glad that after the recent crisis management, the company executives may proceed with the concept drafted for the coming years. The airport management has revised the development plans and the proposed strategy was approved by the Ministry of Finance.”
Minister of Transport Martin Kupka said, “The terminal capacity expansion, new air connections and an increase in the number of passengers is not possible to implement without a quality connection with the center of Prague. Train connection from Prague to the airport should be launched in 2030, which is in line with the further development plans of Václav Havel Airport Prague. We also want the new railway line from Masaryk station to the airport to be connected to Prague’s main railway station. The aim is to facilitate the connection of long-distance trains with the future traffic to the airport. The Ministry of Transport is prepared to contribute its part to the development and increase in the competitiveness of Václav Havel Airport Prague.”