Sep 30, 2023

Prague Airport Unveils Ambitious Plans: Vertiports, Electric Car Charging, and a… Waterfall!

While the Prague airport can boast the fifth best in Europe Google rate (with a 4.3 out of 5 rating from more than 20,000 user reviews) and a high ranking from the International Airport Association, there is still ample room for improvement.

“Surveys indicate that passengers in Prague lack the ‘wow effect.’ The airport feels sterile. So, we are considering ways to incorporate artworks or exhibitions in the space to provide passengers, who have the time, with an additional experience,” explains Jiří Pos, chairman of the board of Prague Airport.

That “wow” factor could be elicited by, for example, a waterfall featured in a special video that the airport plans to release on Tuesday during a press conference about its upcoming investments.

“The waterfall could become one of the future landmarks; it already enhances airports in Singapore and Doha, for instance. While airport operations, shops, and restaurants are crucial, we aim to focus more on enhancing the beauty of the remaining spaces,” Pos stated.

Currently, the airport is attempting to combat the unwelcome sterility with a few so-called green walls and living trees in the terminals’ corners. In October, a 3D portrait of Václav Havel will also be displayed.

In the medium term, Vertical Take-Off and Landing (VTOL) aircraft could also pique the interest of airport visitors. The airport plans to construct its first vertiports for these machines. “We need to be prepared for this segment as well. Although it won’t replace other modes of transport, it could be enticing for high-income clients,” Pos remarked.

The development of this mode of transport is notably pursued by ambitious states in the Arabian Peninsula, unburdened by strict regulations, led by the United Arab Emirates.

However, electric air taxis also aim to impress the world, such as in Paris during next summer’s Olympic Games. Prague might not be planning to build vertiports as swiftly, but it does intend to expand them in the future.

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Before that, the airport must prepare charging stations for fully electric cars. The airport is currently analyzing suitable locations, quantities, and power capacities for these stations. Charging infrastructure will undoubtedly be integrated into the new parking structures planned from 2027 onwards.

“It all depends on the energy capacity to produce a given power at a specific time. We will pursue a combination of slower and faster recharging. This will be essential for an increasing number of passengers and also for the newly contracted taxi operator Uber, which has committed to purchasing up to 100 electric cars,” Pos explained.

Currently, charging is available at the airport’s PC Comfort parking garage. However, it only offers one station with a power capacity of up to 50 kW, which can be used by two cars simultaneously, along with 24 more conventional 230 V sockets.

Consequently, building faster charging stations is imperative for the airport, which is targeting 20 million passengers per year.

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