Prague Airport History
Czechoslovakia, today the Czech Republic, was one of the leading European pioneers of civil aviation and, over time, has become part of the most state-of-the-art continental transportation system. Prague-Ruzyně Airport began operations on April 5, 1937, but Czechoslovak civil aviation history started at the military airport in Prague-Kbely in 1919. In the mid-1930s, due to insufficient capacity at Kbely airport, the government decided to develop a new state civil airport in Ruzyně. Some of the major awards received by Prague Ruzyně Airport include a diploma and gold medal granted in 1937 on the occasion of the International Art and Technical Exhibition in Paris (Exposition Internationale des Arts et Techniques dans la Vie Moderne, also known as Paris 1937 World’s Fair) for the technical conception of the central airport, primarily the architecture of the check-in building (nowadays known as Terminal 1) designed by architect Ing. A. Beneš. Other awards were granted for modernisation during various airport development phases.
These factors led to increased interest from carriers in using Prague Airport. The airport boasts a prime location in its proximity to the centre of Prague and its European situation. Moreover, the Ruzyně fields provide opportunities for further airport expansion to cope with increasing capacity demand. The airport serves as a hub for the trans-European airport network. Political and economic changes have affected the airport during its seventy years of existence. Some new air transportation companies and institutions have been founded, and some have ceased operation. Ten entities have been responsible for airport administration throughout this period, including the new construction and development. Until the 1990s, there were two- or three-decade gaps before the significant modernisation of the Prague-Ruzyně Airport began catering to its new capacity requirements. Since then, the airport has been undergoing modernisation on an ongoing basis and has gradually become one of the top European airports.
Ruzyně Airport has appeared in several movies. These include Casino Royale, in which Ruzyně and an Airbus A340-600 belonging to Virgin Atlantic portrayed the International Airport Miami. Older films include The End of Agent W4C.
In 2013, Czech TV shot a documentary film, The Runway 06-24, about Runway 06/24 and its general reconstruction, which took place on the 50th anniversary of its existence. For the 80th anniversary of the airport, Czech TV shot a documentary film, The Story of Prague Airport, that describes the history and operation of the local air traffic. Videos about traffic at the airport, practical information, and regional aeroplanes are regularly added to Václav Havel Airport’s YouTube channel.