Prague city fly over to Ruzyně airport will stop

by   CIJ News iDesk III
2021-01-14   10:41

The new parallel runway at Ruzyně Airport will stop planes flying over the capital, which will be a significant benefit for Prague, according to Jiří Kraus, Deputy Chairman of the Board of Directors of Prague Airport. According to the mayor's deputy Petr Hlubuček (STAN), however, there is a risk of, among other things, a reduction in the quality of life of the inhabitants of the affected city districts of the capital and surrounding municipalities. They said this today in a discussion organized by the initiative For a Sustainable and Neighborhood Prague Initiative.

After the construction of a new parallel runway, the number of takeoffs and departures per year would increase to about 260,000. However, night flights and the existing transverse runway, from which it flies in the direction of Prague and Kladno, would be canceled, Kraus said. According to him, Václav Havel Airport now carries about 17 million passengers a year. There were 150,000 take-offs and departures a year before, the most so far in 2008, about 178,000.

"Today, four to five percent of traffic is above Prague 6 in the current year. To give you an idea, full traffic is 50 days a year. Prague would be deprived of this (thanks to the construction of a parallel railway)," Kraus said. Thanks to the simultaneous operation of two independent runways, according to him, the hourly capacity of the airport will also increase, thanks to which it will not be necessary to reject some flights as before. The airport is now able to make a maximum of 46 takeoffs and departures per year per hour, he added.

Hlubuček criticized the approach of the runway to residential development and the valid environmental impact assessment EIA, which works with data from 2005. According to him, the construction does not meet the needs of today and the changes that have occurred in society. According to the deputy, the construction plan will bring the airport closer by 1.5 kilometers to the densely populated parts of Prague and its center and will negatively affect the lives of several thousand other inhabitants.

According to Hlubuček, as the capacity of the airport increases, the number of tourists in the city will increase. The same was mentioned by Vít Masare from the initiative Behind the Threshold Sustainable and Neighboring and the initiator of the petition "Do not spread Airport", not to expand. According to Hlubuček, there were at least eight million tourists in the capital in 2019. According to Kraus, however, only a part of them arrived in Prague by air, and limiting the development of the airport is not a way to solve the problem of a surplus of tourists in the metropolis. He added that about nine million people arrived in Prague in 2019. About half of them were foreigners, of which about 60 percent went to Prague.

The investments planned by Letiště Praha should be CZK 55 billion. In addition to the construction of a new runway, it wants to expand the second terminal for 16 billion crowns, which is now used for flights to the countries of the Schengen area. It should be done by 2028.