Václav Havel Airport Prague
Letit Václava Havla Praha
|Operator||Letit Praha, Ltd.|
|Focus city for||Ryanair|
|Time zone||CET (UTC+01:00)|
|Summer (DST)||CEST (UTC+02:00)|
|Elevation AMSL||1,234 ft / 376 m|
Václav Havel Airport Prague (Czech: Letit Václava Havla Praha), formerly Prague Ruzyn International Airport (Czech: Mezinárodní letit Praha-Ruzyn, Czech pronunciation: [praa ruz]), (IATA: PRG, ICAO: LKPR), is the international airport of Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic. The airport was founded in 1937, when it replaced the Kbely Airport (founded in 1918), it was reconstructed and extended in 1956, 1968, 1997, and 2006. It is located in the edge of Prague-Ruzyn area, next to Kneves village, 12 km (7 mi) west of the centre of Prague and 12 km (7 mi) southeast of the city Kladno.
In 2018 it served around 17 million passengers (expecting 18 million in 2019). It serves as a hub for Czech Airlines and Smartwings, and is also a base for Ryanair. The airport is able to handle wide-body aircraft including the largest passenger airliners the Airbus A380 and Boeing 747.
PragueRuzyn Airport began operations on 5 April 1937, but Czechoslovak civil aviation history started at the military airport in PragueKbely in 1919. The Prague Aviation Museum is now found at Kbely Airport.
Due to insufficient capacity of Kbely Airport by the mid-1930s, the government decided to develop a new state civil airport in Ruzyn. One of the major awards Prague Ruzyn 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 Adolf Ben.
In one of the most dramatic moments in its history, the airport was seized by Soviet paratroopers on the night of 2021 August 1968, who then facilitated the landing of Soviet troops and transports for the invasion of Czechoslovakia.
Moreover, the Ruzyn 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 PragueRuzyn 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 PragueRuzyn Airport began to match the current capacity requirements.
An online petition organised by one of the best-known Slovak film directors, Fero Feni, calling on the government and the Parliament to rename Prague Ruzyn 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: Letit Praha s.p.) began the preparations for building a new runway, parallel to the 06/24 runway. The construction with estimated costs of CZK 57 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 m (11,483 ft) long. Located about 1,500 m (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 Nebuice and Pední 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.
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 Prague 6 and Kladno). 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.
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 (Letit 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 Letit 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 Letit 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.
In summer season 2017, 66 airlines fly to 154 destinations in Europe, Asia, Africa and North America from Prague Airport. It has 10 passenger airlines regularly flying widebody aircraft here, including daily service of Airbus A380 Emirates or Boeing 747-8i Korean Air 4 times a week from SeoulIncheon. The following airlines operate regular scheduled and charter flights to and from Prague:
|Aegean Airlines|| Athens|
|Air Arabia Maroc||Casablanca|
|Air Cairo|| Hurghada |
Seasonal: Sharm El Sheikh
|Air Canada Rouge||Seasonal: TorontoPearson|
|Air France||ParisCharles de Gaulle|
|Air Malta||Seasonal: Malta|
|Air Transat||Seasonal: MontréalTrudeau|
|American Airlines||Seasonal: Philadelphia|
|Azerbaijan Airlines||Seasonal: Baku|
|British Airways||LondonCity, LondonHeathrow|
|Bulgaria Air|| Sofia |
Seasonal charter: Burgas (begins 18 June 2019), Olbia (begins 18 June 2019)
|Bulgarian Air Charter||Seasonal charter: Burgas, Varna|
|China Eastern Airlines||ShanghaiPudong, Xi'an|
|Croatia Airlines||Seasonal: Zagreb|
|Czech Airlines|| Amsterdam, Barcelona, Birmingham, Bologna, Brussels, Bucharest, Budapest, Copenhagen, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Gothenburg, Hamburg, Helsinki, KievBoryspil, Koice, Lisbon, Madrid, MilanMalpensa, MoscowSheremetyevo, Nice, Odessa, ParisCharles de Gaulle, RomeFiumicino, SeoulIncheon, StockholmArlanda, Venice, WarsawChopin, Zagreb |
Seasonal: Beirut, Bilbao, Porto, ReykjavíkKeflavík
|Delta Air Lines||Seasonal: New YorkJFK|
|easyJet|| Amsterdam, Bristol, Edinburgh, LondonGatwick, LondonSouthend, LondonStansted, Manchester, MilanMalpensa, Naples, Venice |
|El Al||Tel AvivBen Gurion|
|Enter Air||Seasonal charter: Catania, Funchal, Madrid, Málaga, Palma de Mallorca, Tirana|
|Jet2.com||Birmingham, East Midlands, Glasgow, Leeds/Bradford, Manchester, Newcastle upon Tyne|
|Joon||ParisCharles de Gaulle (ends 26 June 2019)|
|LOT Polish Airlines||WarsawChopin|
|Luxair||Seasonal: Luxembourg City|
|Norwegian Air Shuttle|| Bergen, Copenhagen, Gothenburg, Helsinki, OsloGardermoen, StockholmArlanda |
|Pegasus Airlines||IstanbulSabiha Gökçen|
|Ryanair|| AmmanQueen Alia, Barcelona, Bari, Beauvais, Bergamo, Billund, Bologna, Bordeaux (begins 3 October 2019), Bournemouth, Budapest, Charleroi, Copenhagen, Dublin, Edinburgh, Eindhoven, Gothenburg, Kraków, Liverpool, LondonStansted, Madrid, Málaga, Manchester (begins 27 October 2019), Marrakesh, Marseille, Palma de Mallorca (begins 4 June 2019), Pisa, Riga, RomeCiampino, Stockholm-Skavsta, Treviso|
Seasonal:Pescara, EilatRamon, Trapani, Zadar 
|Scandinavian Airlines||Copenhagen, OsloGardermoen, StockholmArlanda|
|SCAT Airlines||Nur-Sultan (begins 2 June 2019)|
|Sichuan Airlines||Chengdu, Zürich|
|Smartwings|| DubaiInternational, Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria, Hurghada, Kazan, LondonGatwick, Málaga, MoscowSheremetyevo, Rostov-on-Don, Saint Petersburg, Samara, TenerifeSouth, Tel AvivBen Gurion|
Seasonal: Almería (begins 30 May 2019), Antalya, Barcelona, Burgas, Cagliari, Catania, Chania, Corfu, Dubrovnik, Faro, Funchal, Heraklion, Karpathos, Kephalonia (begins 2 June 2019), Kos, Lamezia Terme, Lanzarote, Larnaca, Malta, Marsa Alam, Menorca (begins 15 May 2019), MurciaCorvera (begins 14 May 2019), Mytilene (begins 4 June 2019), Naples, Olbia, Palma de Mallorca, Preveza/Lefkada, Rhodes, Samos, Santorini, Split (begins 17 April 2019), Thessaloniki, Tirana, Valencia, Varna, Zakynthos
|SunExpress||Seasonal: Antalya (begins 11 June 2019)|
|Swiss International Air Lines||Geneva, Zürich|
|TAP Air Portugal||Lisbon|
|Ukraine International Airlines||KievBoryspil|
|United Airlines||Seasonal: Newark (begins 6 June 2019)|
|Ural Airlines||Krasnodar, Moscow-Zhukovsky, Yekaterinburg|
|Volotea|| Bordeaux, Nantes, Venice |
Seasonal: Cagliari (begins 16 June 2019), Lyon (begins 11 April 2019), Marseille, Toulouse
|Vueling||Barcelona, Florence (begins 15 September 2019), ParisCharles de Gaulle, RomeFiumicino|
|Wings of Lebanon||Beirut|
|Wizz Air||Bari, Kutaisi, LondonLuton|
|Air Cargo Global||Hong Kong, Turkmenbashi|
|ASL Airlines Belgium||Brno, Katowice, Ličge|
|ASL Airlines Ireland||ParisCharles de Gaulle|
|China Airlines Cargo||Abu Dhabi, Amsterdam, BangkokSuvarnabhumi, Luxembourg, TaipeiTaoyuan|
|Qatar Airways Cargo||Budapest, Doha|
|Turkish Airlines Cargo||IstanbulAtatürk|
The top 15 destinations in 2018 were:
|2||ParisCharles de Gaulle||712,414|
|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.
Media related to Prague Ruzyn Airport at Wikimedia Commons