Karlovy Vary Airport could see runway extension in 2025

by   CIJ News iDesk III
2023-04-25   08:06

Karlovy Vary International Airport could see its runway extended in 2025. The owner of the airport, the Karlovy Vary Region, wants to have the project ready by the middle of next year, after which it will apply for a building permit. The CZK 1.5 billion project will include the extension of the runway. The construction work will be divided into two stages, according to governor Petr Kulhánek (for STAN).

"The extension of the runway is more crucial for us because it opens the way for us to be able to arrange new routes with low-cost airlines, which according to their regulations are not allowed to fly on our narrower runway," Kulhánek said. These include European airlines such as Ryanair, EasyJet and Wizz Air. According to the plan, the runway should be extended by 15 metres.

Originally, the project was to include only the extension of the runway, but now it will also include its extension. Thanks to this, aircraft from Karlovy Vary will be able to fly to more distant destinations. The extension of the runway from 2,100 to 2,500 metres would cover the whole of Europe and the Middle East, for which the spa town is a tourist attraction, the governor said.

With the joint project to widen and extend the area, the county will save money on the removal and storage of soil left over after the runway extension. The soil will remain at the airport site, where it will then be used to extend the runway. Another advantage, according to Deputy Governor Dalibor Blažek (Local), is that the county will be in a stronger position when negotiating for state subsidies. The project will also allow for joint zoning proceedings and building permits.

The county wants to receive funds from the state for the runway improvements. Drawing on its own funds is hard to imagine for a county with a population of 283,000. One option is to use money from the State Fund for Transport Infrastructure (SFDI). The county is also pushing to make the regional airport a backbone transportation infrastructure. It could also be used by the military in the future, as the Hradiště military base is nearby.

Karlovy Vary Airport will offer charter flights to three destinations this summer season. In addition to Antalya in Turkey, where flights started last year, the Greek island of Crete and Varna in Bulgaria will be added. The only scheduled service between Karlovy Vary and Moscow will be lost in 2020 due to anti-coronavirus measures. After that, it was without scheduled flights for over two years. The region's intention is to restore, for example, the connection to Tel Aviv, Israel, which is already under discussion, according to the governor.

Source: CTK