Ruzyne Airport Expansion Encounters Problems

The Supreme Administrative Court cancelled the change of the town planning scheme allowing the construction of another Prague Ruzyne Airport runway. This decision presents a serious obstacle in airport’s planned big expansion.

The reasons for the decision were the mistakes done whilst allowing the change of the town planning scheme. The people living in the affected area (mainly Nebusice) voted against the new runway already in 2004 referendum. The complaints of the people fearing the increase in noise levels were not properly addressed. The Czech Ministry of Environment was reported also to have disagreed. The influence of the runway on the environment has to be considered more thoroughly.

The new runway is an absolute must for the planned capacity increase which is viewed as necessary. For example, between the years 2004 and 2005 the number of passengers who checked-in at Ruzyne rose by ten per cent. Recently, the airport provided service for 10.8 million passengers – a total exceeding the number of people living in the entire Czech Republic.

The expansion represents a significant investment ranging between 5 and 7 bn Czech Crowns. The runway was expected to be completed by the year 2009 and to be succeeded by further expansion. Given the decision of the court it remains to be seen to what extent the capacity-enlargement will be delayed or whether it will take place at all.

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