Vodochody Airport €110m expansion gets go-ahead from Municipal Court

Municipal Court in Prague confirms a mostly positive environmental impact assessment for a proposed expansion of Vodochody Airport. Owner plans to turn a private general aviation airport, located 10 kilometers north of Prague, into an international public airfield.

Proposed terminal of Vodochody Airport

Proposed terminal of Vodochody Airport | Photo courtesy of Vodochody Airport

The expansion plan, which promises to make low-cost air traveling more affordable, gets a green light after it hit a major roadblock when environment ministry claimed the two years old impact assessment invalid. The ministry’s decision was based on concerns over potential contamination of local water supply sources, increased traffic and increased noise pollution.

The Czech-Slovak investment group Penta, a private equity group that owns Vodochody Airport, successfully appealed against the ministry’s verdict and currently plans to apply for a building permit in upcoming weeks. According to the investor, the expansion will create up to 3000 new jobs in the Central Bohemian Region. It also has been described as a significant boost for Prague’s aviation capacity while uncertainty hangs over proposals for an extra runway at Vaclav Havel Airport.

The expansion involves turning current private general aviation airport into an international public airfield that will be able to handle 3.5 million passengers per year. Penta promises to offer lower fees than other airports in the region and the company has reportedly already been in talks with multiple low-cost airline carriers.

Penta first announced plans to expand the airport’s capacity when the airport was privatized in 2007.