New ‘City’ to grow in Prague Airport vicinity in the future

It is among the fastest growing airports in Europe in its category. It employs approximately 3,000 people, while another approximately 15,000 people work for companies operating at or near the airport.

Václav Havel Airport Prague is on its way up again, after the Coronavirus pandemic, and thinking about the future. The largest international airport in the Czech Republic is getting ready for the development of air traffic and at the same time wants to make the most of its further potential.

The airport and its neighbourhood are a great area for investment

Prague Airport was at its peak before the start of the global pandemic. In 2019, it handled almost 18 million passengers and looked forward to further growth. Now, after three years significantly affected by the pandemic, better times are again in sight. Last year, the airport handled almost 11 million passengers. This year, also thanks to the resumed routes, it should exceed the 12.5million mark. More than 60 carriers will offer direct flights to more than 165 destinations around the world, including popular destinations such as New York, Seoul, Dubai, Istanbul, and Doha. In addition, more than 8.5 million people live within a two-hour-commute of Václav Havel Airport Prague, which represents considerable potential.

Prague Airport is therefore focussing not only on the development of airport operations and increases in its capacity, which is to be ensured, for example, by the expansion of Terminal 2, but also on the development of opportunities not directly related to passenger handling. This is precisely the goal of the Airport City programme, which is designed to contribute to greater economic stability of Prague Airport in synergy with the surrounding area and its development.

An important international airport near the centre of the capital city of Prague offers a great opportunity for investment. The area surrounding the airport is compact with an already existing Airport City core, which has a great potential for further development.

Airport City North

Václav Havel Airport Prague envisages further growth in the number of handled passengers, and therefore wants to expand the range of its services offered. As part of the land use study, Airport City North is divided into three basic zones: CENTRE, SERVICE, and BUSINESS, and a fourth supplementary arrival zone, GATE. All zones are interconnected, and in terms of operating, directly and indirectly connected to the airport terminal buildings.

The study anticipates new development in this area of the airport, with the solution concept focusing on complementing the existing infrastructure elements with a well-arranged development featuring a clear ‘street’ block-based pattern and central axis. In terms of operation, alongside the direct support for passenger handling processes, the objects are to house additional services for passengers, the public, and employees. New administrative premises, hotels, parking buildings, a congress centre, and other commercial venues are also to be included. New and existing greenery and public spaces are to be appropriately and proportionally used across the area, while the concept aims to create a local sub-centre of an urban character with the dynamic airport traffic at its centre.

In the first phase, the construction of a new parking building B and hotel facilities is planned in this area. BNP Paribas estimated in its 2018 study on future hotel capacity demand that the offer in the vicinity of Václav Havel Airport Prague was low compared to similar airports in Europe, with 27,000 passengers per hotel room compared to 5,000 passengers in Warsaw. The airport plans for the nearest future therefore include a three-star hotel with a capacity of up to 200 rooms.

Key milestones for Airport City North comprise the expansion of Terminal 2 with a new Pier D and at the same time the launch of operations of a railway line and a station right beside the terminal buildings. Public transport is used for trips to the airport by approximately 30% of passengers and members of the public, who currently use busses. Recently, the construction of the electric bus line has commenced, while the railway connection to the city centre should be in operation close to 2029. The airport is also easily accessible from the Prague ring road and the D7 motorway, of which capacity increases are planned by the Road and Motorway Directorate of the Czech Republic.

Airport City South

Airport City South is divided into three basic areas. The south part of the site represents great potential for Aviation Business offering enough space for the construction of new hangars, terminals, and logistics centres.

The Dlouhá Míle area is also part of the Airport City South development plans. Currently, it is a partially urbanized area that began to develop with the establishment of the airport. There are several administrative buildings, dormitories, apartment buildings, and healthcare facilities. The airport goal is to complement the zone turning it into an urban sub-centre benefiting from the railway station and commercial infrastructure.

The Area South is very closely linked to the existing and prospective urban development within the territory of the Prague 6 municipality, and the relationship between the airport and the city in this area will continue to deepen in the future as the city moves closer and develops more intensively towards the airport. Concurrently, the airport will create and integrate new capacities, including commercial, within the area.

An area of open ‘campus type’ complexes with adequate block-building structure is proposed in the central zone of Airport City South. Its open arrangement aims to support more flexibly structured premises with capacities for research, education, specialised production and, to a limited extent, administration. Operations located in this area can optimally connect to and commercially benefit from the airport infrastructure proximity and aviation activities.

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