Ruzyně International Airport

Prague Ruzyně International Airport (Czech: Letiště Praha-Ruzyně, Czech pronunciation: , (IATA: PRG, ICAO: LKPR), serves Prague, Czech Republic. Located 10 kilometres (6 mi) west of the city centre, the airport is a hub for Czech Airlines. It was opened on 5 April 1937. Prague-Ruzyně is the biggest airport in the Czech Republic, and with 11.6 million passengers in 2009, the busiest one within the new EU member states. It was named the best airport in Central and Eastern Europe by Skytrax in 2005 and 2007.

Ruzyně today

Most flights depart Ruzyně 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.

The airport contains two runways in service: 06/24 and 13/31. Former runway 04/22 is not used any more. The most used runway is 24 due to the prevailing western winds. Runway 31 is also used often. Runway 06 is used rarely, while runway 13 is used only exceptionally.

Public transport to and from Prague city centre involves taking the bus number 119 to Dejvická metro station, and transferring on to the green metro line (Line A) or tram there, bus number 100 to Zličín metro station (yellow Line B), or number 179 to Nové Butovice station. A typical trip takes about 40 minutes. After midnight when the metro is closed, night bus number 510 runs from the airport, offering 4 transfer points to centre-bound trams en-route.

Since 14 December 2008, the bus line AE (Airport Express) also provides nonstop service between Terminals 1 and 2, and the Prague Main railway station every day from 05:00 to 22:00 H, leaving every half hour.

History

Czechoslovakia belonged, and Czech Republic belongs, to the leading European pioneers of the civil aviation, and became over time a part of the most state-of-the-art continental transportation system. The Prague–Ruzyně Airport began operation on 5 April 1937, but Czechoslovak civil aviation history started at the military airport in Prague–Kbely in 1919. At Kbely Airport is now placed Prague Aviation Museum. 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 the 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 check-in building (nowadays known as Terminal 4) designed by architect Ing. A. Beneš. Other awards were granted for modernization 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 August 20–21, 1968, who then facilitated the landing of Soviet troops and transports for the invasion of Czechoslovakia.

The airport has excellent location both with respect to 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 the Prague-Ruzyně Airport. Some new air transportation companies and institutions were founded and some ceased operation since then. Ten entities were 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 modernization of the Prague-Ruzyně Airport began in order to match the current capacity requirements. Since then, the Airport began modernisation on an ongoing basis and is gradually one of the top European airports.

The airport was used in the James Bond film, Casino Royale. The airport, along with Virgin Atlantic Airbus A340-600, depicts a scene that actually takes place in the film at Miami International Airport.

Further development

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) is to be put into service in 2010. However, because of plenty of legal problems and 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. animation of the new runway and more info.

It will be over 3,500 metres (11,483 ft) long. Located about 1,500 metres (4,921 ft) south-east 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. According to the most recent plans, the construction should begin in 2011, and the operations should commence in 2014. 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.

See the airport railway project description in Czech at www.praha-kladno.cz or Wikipedia article.

Terminals

Ruzyně Airport has two main passenger terminals, two general aviation terminals, as well as a cargo facility.

Airlines and destinations
Charter flights
Cargo airlines
Traffic and statistics

In 2004, the airport served 9.7 million passengers; in 2005 nearly 10.8 million; and 11.6 million in 2006. In 2007 the number of passengers rose to 12,440,000 and in 2008 reached 12,630,557. In 2009 the number decreased to 11,643,366, and only 143,060 were domestic passengers. It was the 32nd busiest airport in Europe in 2009. The top 10 destinations were:

Incidents
  • On 30 October 1975, an Inex Adria Aviopromet 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.
Ground transportation
Public Transport
  • Buses of Prague Public Transit Co. stop at both terminals every 10 minutes. A 90 min. ticket can be bought for CZK 32 at the arrival hall (CZK 40 from the bus driver).
    • 119 - terminates in 24 minutes at the Dejvická station. Transfer to Metro line A to get to the centre. The ticket is valid on the Metro too.
    • 100 - terminates in 18 minutes at the Zličín station. Transfer to Metro line B to get to the centre. The ticket is valid on the Metro too.
    • 179, 225 - terminate in 45-53 minutes at the Nové Butovice station. Probably of no use for a tourist.
    • 510 - a night service every 30 minutes. Goes to the south of the city, but passes near the centre ("Jiráskovo náměstí" or I. P. Pavlova stops) which takes 42 minutes.
  • A Czech Railways public bus service, AE - AiportExpress, connects Terminals 1 and 2 with Praha hlavní nádraží every 30 minutes. The journey takes 40 to 50 minutes.
  • Other buses
    • Some local buses from Prague to Kladno stop at Terminal 1.
    • Student Agency buses link Terminal 1 with Karlovy Vary.
Taxis

There are two taxi companies officially authorized at the airport . Both Radiocab taxi and AAA RADIOTAXI should take you to the city centre for around CZK 500.

Taxi fares are regulated by the Prague City Council . No taxi should charge more than CZK 40 per ride plus CZK 28 per km. Taxi meter should be turned on and print a receipt.

Other information

Ruzyně Airport took part in the Onion News (comedy internet news magazine) with the episode dedicated to Franz Kafka. The Airport was renamed to Franz Kafka International Airport in it with funny scenes imitating Kafka's famous novels.

Building Activity

  • removed a media
    about 6 years ago via OpenBuildings.com