Prague Airport changing parking rules

The new rules will mainly impact on commercial drivers using the lots

Parking rules will change at Václav Havel Airport Prague as of July 1. Free entrance will be possible to two express parking lots for 15 minutes once every 24 hours.

Currently, it is possible to park for 15 minutes once every hour in the P1 and P2 outdoor parking lots in the immediate vicinity of the two main terminals.

Airport operating firm Prague Airport (Letiště Praha) says the change will not affect most travelers.

“This is a sufficient amount of time for passengers, as no one flies more than once every 24 hours. Regular passengers will not be affected in any material way. In addition, compared with other major European airports, one 15-minute period in 24 hours is still rather exceptional,” Prague Airport communication specialist Roman Pacvoň said.

The new measures will make the lots more accessible and ensure better capacity for traffic. “In the long term, we strive to be able to offer parking services to as many airport visitors as possible, even with a constant increase in the number of checked-in passengers,” he added.

“We have also taken steps to remedy the current situation where provisions for noncommercial entities were used by commercial entities to pursue their business,” he added.

Some commercial entities already pay to use the lots, while others have been using them for free. The new rule will create a level field for all commercial operators, the airport operator maintains.

The airport offers a Prague Airport Value Card for people who need to use the airport's parking lots more than once per day.

“As far as commercial entities are concerned, they can use advantageous prepaid cards to re-enter the express car lots. The new situation will not discriminate against those commercial entities that are already paying to use airport infrastructure. This situation is common at airports, and commercial entities often do not have even one free entry,” he added.

Prices for short-term parking are also increasing on July 1. The PC Comfort and PB Economy parking lots will see an increase from Kč 50 to Kč 60 per hour.

“The amount for hourly parking in the PC Comfort and the PB Economy outdoor parking lots has been the same for at least 10 years, although Prague Airport is constantly investing in parking spaces, and sees increasing costs from their 24-hour operation, monitoring and regular maintenance. Parking services have improved, and these costs need to be reflected in the price. Nevertheless, the increase is minimal and the price is absolutely comparable to other key parking spaces in Prague,” Pacvoň said.

The change in rules for using the lots will have an impact on drivers for Uber and other alternative ride services, who so far have been able to enter the parking lots for free several times per day.

Uber spokeswoman Miroslava Jozová told the media that the company would find a solution to the parking issue once it had all of the details.

Tourists tend to use Uber at the airport because they are not familiar with local taxi services, or have read negative things about Prague's taxis in guidebooks or online.

Czech residents are more likely to use public transportation or a taxi company they are familiar with.

The issue of Uber drivers at the airport has in the past led to protests on the part of taxi drivers, who claimed it was unfair competition, as the drivers did not have to meet the same rules.

In April, Uber and the Czech government signed an agreement on terms that would allow Uber to operate legally in the Czech Republic. The drivers will keep records for paying taxes, issue receipts and meet licensing requirements, for example.

Václav Havel Airport Prague had a record year in 2017. It handled a total of 15,415,001 passengers, an increase of 17.9 percent compared to 2016.

By 2020, the airport operator plans to increase capacity to 17 million passengers.

The airport recently opened new check-in facilities that will help increase the capacity of Terminal 2, which handles flights within the Schengen Zone.

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