Prague Airport reopens observation platform

The elevated deck at Kněževes had to be replaced due to airport expansion

Prague Airport has opened a new viewing platform for observing aircraft at Václav Havel Airport Prague. The deck is located near just outside the airport in the suburb of Kněževes.

The original platform had to be removed last May because it prevented the construction of an aviation fuel pipeline and the planned extension of the airport perimeter. The new observation deck is nearly two meters taller and is 51 meters further away from the runway.

The platform in Kněževes was a favorite spot for plane spotters, photographers, aviation aficionados, tourists and families with children.

Due to increasing air traffic, Prague Airport is forced to increase the airport’s capacity, which requires structural modifications. Strategic construction from the point of view of the airport's future development includes a new pipeline for aviation fuels and a depot for fuel trucks. The newly emerging pipeline caused the original observation platform to be moved.

After almost nine months, a new deck has been created near the original platform. It is 4.5 meters high and consists of 735 cubic meters of soil supporting a deck where people can stand to watch air traffic. The volume of soil in the original deck was 465 cubic meters. Visitors can reach it on an unpaved gravel road that runs from adjacent roads.

“The reopening of the platform is undoubtedly a positive message for both aircraft lovers and families with children, who are frequent visitors. In the future, we plan to improve the children’s play elements so that small visitors can enjoy additional entertainment in addition to observing aircraft,” Jiří Kraus, vice-chairman of Prague Airport, responsible for relations with the airport’s surrounding area, said in a press release. Prague Airport is the company responsible for managing Václav Havel Airport.

“This step is in line with the long-term concept of the airport to continually seek further possible improvements to its services. Aviation is an attractive field, and the observation of aircraft at take-off or landing still attracts many admirers,” Kraus added.

Prague Airport has long been trying to meet aviation fans and offer a number of opportunities to observe the take-off and landing of interesting aircraft. In addition to the Kněževes platform, there is also a second spot near the airport, situated near the village of Hostivice.

Spotters and photographers can also use special diamond-shape openings in the airport fences. For all airport visitors, there are open terraces in both terminals.

People who want to see aircraft and airport technology really close can take advantage of tours organized by Prague Airport, which include interesting places of the airport that are not normally accessible to the public.

Václav Havel Airport Prague set a new record last year, with over 16 million checked-in passengers as of Dec. 11, 2018, breaking the 2017 record of 15.41 million.

Prague Airport is responding to the growing number of checked-in passengers by investing in projects at both main terminals and in the luggage handling area.

The planned improvements follow on several projects that were completed in 2018, such as a security station with new technology in Terminal 2 to speed check-in for Schengen zone flights and new departure areas in Terminal 1.

Václav Havel Airport Prague opened April 5, 1937, as Prague Ruzyně Airport. Right after former president Václav Havel's death on Dec. 18, 2011, an online petition asked the government to rename it to Václav Havel International Airport. This name change took place Oct. 5, 2012, on what would have been Havel's 76th birthday.

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