The long-term modernisation of České Budějovice Airport in South Bohemia has been completed, regional authorities announced on Thursday. The airport received permission from the country’s Civil Aviation Authority allowing international public traffic on Wednesday. Full operation should be launched at the end of 2020.
The airport, which until now served only non-public international traffic, should start dispatching passenger aircrafts this autumn. By 2021, it should be a fully certified airport for charter, tourist, business, freight and domestic transportation, with aircraft such as the Boeing 737 and Airbus A320 permitted to land there.
The second phase of the lengthy renovation started in 2015 and included the construction of a new terminal, expanding aircraft stands, improving access roads and car parks for passengers, and providing public lighting. The costs have reached over 640 million crowns. The first phase of renovation was completed in June 2015, and included the repair of the runway and taxiways, the reinforcement of the runway surface and the addition of new navigation aids for conventional airplanes.
Altogether, the region of South of Bohemia and the city of České Budějovice, which own the airport, have already invested over 1 billion crowns into its modernisation.
“The airport has a huge potential. South Bohemia is the second most visited tourist destination in the Czech Republic and many passengers, who now fly to Prague and then travel to Český Krumlov by bus, may prefer to fly directly to České Budějovice,” the governor of South Bohemian, Ivana Stránská, told the Czech News Agency.
The governor would also like to develop the area surrounding the airport, building an industrial zone, a parking lot for trucks, and a hotel.
Until now, the South Bohemian airport was only used for non-public international traffic, mostly for sport and limited commercial flights, and was authorised to receive and dispatch medium-sized aircraft of up to 36-metre wingspan. Among regular clients are companies with business interests in South Bohemia.
The České Budějovice Airport saw nearly 6,000 landings and take-offs last year and recorded profits amounting to 1.8 million crowns. According to the website zdopravy.cz, it will need at least 80,000 passengers a year to remain profitable in the future.