Václav Havel Airport Prague, an international airport, meets a high level of safety pursuant to the rules and regulations of the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). As proof, the airport received a safety certificate from the Civil Aviation Authority of the Czech Republic in September 2017. Prague Airport is the fourth out of five Czech airport operators under the EASA jurisdiction to have received the certificate.
“The certificate awarded according to the latest European standards is a clear guarantee for air carriers, passengers, other airport users and cooperating organisations that we have set a high level of operational safety and that our infrastructure and processes are in line with European legislation,” Václav Řehoř, Chairman of the Prague Airport Board of Directors, explained the importance of the certification.
Prague Airport started getting ready for the certification process during 2015, when it identified its infrastructure shortcomings in comparison with the new regulations. A total of 1,178 provisions had to be settled. Just as at other European airports of comparable size, a team of specialists discovered about 30 issues where some of Václav Havel Airport Prague’s infrastructure aspects did not meet the EASA requirements, most commonly for historical reasons. Prague’s airport was built over the course of 80 years, always following the rules of the time. As a result, some infrastructure, primarily in the central part of the premises, did not fully meet the new and stricter rules.
“For example, new signage of waiting spots on taxi ways had to be added. It was also necessary to completely rework the airport guidelines used in the airport description for certification purposes,” Řehoř described the continued process of settling the non-conformities.
“The certification process also resulted in the approval of an action plan for continued airport infrastructure improvements and further increases of operational safety, with specified steps and investment proposals for the next 10 years. We plan to invest, for example, in a new approach light system, a de-icing stand, extensions to taxi ways and cross points for large aircraft and the inclusion of an axis signalling system,” Řehoř added.
The certification conditions are the result of the 2014 European Commission Regulation and new EASA Regulations, establishing common safety requirements for all airports within the EU area, where acquiring the certificate is a condition for operating a civil aviation airport. All European airports which are open to public use and serve commercial air transport, where operations using instrument approach or departure procedures are provided, which have a paved runway of 800 metres or above and handle over 10 thousand passengers a year must obtain the certificate by the end of 2017. Václav Havel Airport Prague, with its runway of 3,750m and over 13 million handled passengers a year, falls within the scope of the category.