Press release of the company Airport Karlovy Vary s.r.o.
The ceremonial completing of the project "Modernization of the Airport Karlovy Vary - stage 3, 2nd part - Construction of the new terminal building"
The Karlovy Vary Airport has been owned by the Karlovy Vary Region for about 5 years. By completing the 3rd stage of its modernization the preparation and execution part of the basic airport infrastructure modernization has been finished with the total cost of about CZK 300 million. Over a half of this amount was contributed by the EU from their development funds and the Norwegian financial mechanisms as well. The Karlovy Vary Regioninvested about CZK 130 million and another investor was the company Airport Karlovy Vary s.r.o., as the airport's operator.
The first stage of the modernization was started on 1 November 2005 by reconstructing the runway to reach both the higher bearing capacity of its surface and the height adjustment of its eastern part. At the same time the second stage was in the progress, solving the modernization of the runway light protecting device. After completing these two modernization stages in 2006 it was made possible for the airport to accept modern airplanes for the short and middle routes such as Boeing 737 or Airbus 320 regarding the rising number of these airplanes' movements even under the worse weather conditions.
In May 2007 the third modernization stage was started. Its first part reacted to the need to meet the Schengen agreements valid for the airports adjustment in connection to the Czech Republic's joining the Schengen area, the second part reacted especially to the need to increase the check in comfort of the passengers and possibility to extend provided services, e.g. fast food for the public and extension of the commercial area for goods sale, or opening of the VIP and Business Rooms for the passengers. By executing this final and for the public visible modernization stage the standard level of both the space and quality was reached which is ecpected from the regional EU airports of similar importance.
Except of the period from 8 March to 28 May 2006, when the airport was closed, the particular modernization stages and parts were run under full working arrangements. Together with the running modernization the Airport's operator invested in its development nearly CZK 30 million, for example by completing the fencing, providing new devices for airplanes dispatching, modernizing the vehicles of the rescue and fire services, or by implementing the transport and security technologies within the new terminal equipment, etc. At the beginning of 2009 the Aiport's operator was granted the Aerodrome Operating Certificate by the Civil Aviation Office, which confirmed the realigment of the technical infrastructure and operating procedures with the international aviation standards.
During the first five years of the Karlovy Vary Region's ownership the number of the check in passengers grew nearly three times from 25,687 passengers in 2003 to 70,620 passengers in 2008 (data without transit passengers). In that period the number of flights to Moscow increased and a new sheduled flight to St Petersburg was started as well. At the same time there was a hopeful development in the offer of destinations within the sale of holidays in the Mediterranean in the summer season. However, the global economic crisis made the travel agencies axe the number of the offered destinations from five to only two (Rhodos, Antalya).
It is not possible to figure out the overall impact of the crisis upon the Airport' operating outputs yet, nevertheless currently it proves only by decreasing the growth rate in the number of passengers compared to the past.
It is necessary to see the now finished modernization of the airport's basic infrastructure as the essential part and condition of the following future development, whose 'keystone' has just been laid. The general relation between the region's economic prosperity and the succesfully run regional airport is obvious. The Airport Karlovy Vary has except of the inhabitants in the catchment area (1.6 million within 60 minutes) also a big potential especially in the incoming tourism, balneology, and golf sport.
To make the best of this potential by offering new destinations connecting Karlovy Vary to the world is the most important task for the airport's management in the nearest future after completing the airport's modernization. The basic conditions (satisfactory airport infrastructure) are created now and the first steps to this aim have been made by processing the analytic subdata and statistic data for the negotiation with the airlines and the travel agencies. The future key role for the success of the region as well as the airport will be in the mutual intensive cooperation between the airport, Karlovy Vary Region, big towns, hotels, travel agents and the incoming agencies.
Besides the above mentioned facts an extensive study of the Karlovy Vary Airport's development and efficiency was finished last year. Its fulfilment and execution would guarantee economic prosperity and regional development not only for the Karlovy Vary region in distant future.