Václav Havel Airport in Prague will have a new control tower. It should be 80 meters high, 30 meters more than the current one, which will serve as a backup. The construction will start in about two years, but the tower should be fully operational in up to five years, Czech Television (CT) said on Thursday. “The dome of the new control tower will have a diameter of 20 meters and will be divided into three floors,” said Air Traffic Control spokesman Richard Klima. In the future, the airport is expected to increase the number of passengers, and to add new terminals and runways.

Now, the tower clears a maximum of 44 aircraft per hour but can handle up to 70. Last year, more than 15 million passengers passed through Prague’s Havel Airport, which is the most in the 80 years of its existence. “We are counting on an increase in the number of passengers up to 21 million,” said Roman Pacvoň, a spokesman for television.

The last major construction was made by Prague Airport in 2012 and 2013, when the main RWY 06/24 runway underwent a major overhaul. The reason was its technical state and necessary adaptation to current requirements. Operation continued during the time of the construction on the side runway, RWY 12/30.

The airport is currently planning to build a parallel runway to the main runway, which would help to significantly increase its capacity. The main runway has been in operation since 1963 and the entire track system has not changed since the 1960s. “This is no longer sufficient in peak times and without further expansion it will be the main obstacle to the expected growth in civil aviation,” the Airport states on its website.

In 2011, the airport received a positive opinion from the Ministry of the Environment and a selection procedure is currently underway for the processors of the land use documentation and the subsequent building permit.