Václav Havel airport in Prague is set to see major investments over the next decade to accommodate the increasing number of passengers. According to the vision for the future presented this week on the occasion of the airport’s 80th anniversary, it expects passenger numbers to double within the next two decades.
The number of passengers serviced at Prague’s Václav Havel, formerly called Ruzyně, has increased thousandfold since its establishment 80 years ago. During the first year of its operation in 1937, the airport handled 13,000 passengers, while today the figure stands at 13 million, the airport’s spokesperson Marika Janoušková told the Czech News Agency on Sunday. In 1937, Ruzyně airport employed around 400 people, including aviation personnel, while at the moment, there are more than 15,000 employees. The first aircraft to land at the airport was a Douglas DC-2 on a 9-am domestic flight from Piešťany to Prague via Zlín and Brno and the airport’s main runway was put into operation in 1963.
Some 118 trains on the Czech Republic’s rail network ran a red light last year, a sharp increase on the previous year. It is nearly thirty more than last year and twice as many as in 2014, the website aktualne.cz reported, citing data by the Railway Inspectorate. Most of the incidents did not lead to an emergency. According to experts, the phasing out of train dispatchers and inattention of train drivers, are among the main factors behind the sharp increase of such incidents.
The Czech competition office suspects the cargo arm of the Czech state owned rail company, ČD Cargo, of being part of a cartel which had divided the market and attempted to set charges. The office has already attempted to get proof at the company’s headquarters with the firm unsuccessfully attempting to block searches with a court order, the ČTK news agency reported on Monday. The competition office would not comment officially. Czech Railways said the case dated back to before 2006 and the creation of the stand alone freight firm. Cartel involvement is usually regarded as one of the most serious abuses of competition.
The original T3 trams from the early 1960’s have been gradually removed from most of Prague’s streets. The Prague transport authority has announced the move. Modernised T3’s will however remain. The older T3 will, however, circulate the capital’s streets on so-called nostalgia lines. One such, the route 23 through Charles Square and past Prague Castle, was launched on Saturday. The original T3’s were credited with saving the city’s tram network when transport bosses were pondering whether to replace all trams with buses.
The Czech Republic considers the planned highway toll on Germany’s historically free autobahns discriminatory to foreign drivers and may join legal action against it, Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka said on Friday. The toll is due to go into effect as of 2019. German drivers will be able to deduct the toll costs from the vehicle tax they are already paying, leaving the toll burden largely on foreigners. Several EU member states are considering jointly suing Germany over the planned highway toll.
The Czech rail market is set to open up further to competition after the government’s approval of liberalisation plans on Wednesday, the Czech News Agency reported. According to information posted on the Office of the Government’s website, tender processes for the right to run services on five high-speed rail lines will be held by the end of 2021
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