Watching winter operations at Prague Airport

William

Feb 23, 2019

Václav Havel Airport Prague is the largest and busiest airport in the Czech Republic. It handles around 13 million passengers annually and you can take a flight to more than 150 destinations across the globe. Passengers travelling from or to Prague usually care only about the services and shops the airport has to offer. However, for us, aviation enthusiasts, the airport is much more than only a beginning or end of a journey. It’s a busy world, where everything runs like a Swiss watch and today I am going to show you another site, aircraft spotting.

The viewing terrace

There are two ways how one can take a few nice photos of planes or just to watch the operations. The viewing terrace is located in between Terminal 1 (flights outside the Schengen Area) and Terminal 2 (flights inside the Schengen Area). The best thing about this is that the terrace is not only accessible for passengers, but also for people how come to see the planes or wave at their relatives on board.

After parking car at the short-term car park for 60 Kč per hour, I grabbed my camera and entered the Arrivals hall at Terminal 2, went through the crowds of passengers and looked for signs guiding to my aim.

The terrace is located just between the Terminal 1 and 2 and is covered with a glass wall on its front due to security reasons. The visitors can enjoy views of taxiways and the main runway at Prague airport, the 06/24, from a height of a vertical stabilizer.

And now the photos…

 

Smartwings is the largest Czech airline and one of the fastest-growing European carriers.

This Boeing 737-800 and the smaller 500 version were bound for Stockholm Arlanda and Venice Marco Polo.

Air Arabia is a new airline at this airport. It’s been connecting Prague to Sharjah in the UAE since December last year. The plane is handled from the same gate as the largest planes like the Airbus A380 are as the place features three jetbridges.

Airbus A319 Brussels Airlines coming from Brussels.

Smartwings was also one of the first airlines that received their ordered B737 MAXs, which are the newest Boeing aircraft these days.

This one was starting its 5-hour-long journey to Tenerife South.

What about a few questions?

There is a board with a couple of questions about the airport on the terrace. Let me now quote some of those and you can try to think of the answer before showing it.

Let me know in the comment section down below how successful you were 🙂

How many takeoffs and landings take place at the airport every year?

 

Around 140,000

How many passengers pass through the security control daily?

 

22 thousand passengers

How many kilometres do passenger handling agents walk each shift?

 

About 13 km

How many lights are ensuring good visibility of the runways and taxiways?

 

4,200 lights

How many tons of fuel is used at the airport every month?

 

35,000 tons of fuel

Which is the shortest route from Prague?

 

Prague to Munich (265 km)

Which is the longest route from Prague?

 

Prague to Shanghai (8539 km)

How many pieces of baggage are handled every day?

 

20 thousand pieces

These questions are based on data from early 2019.

Kněževes

After about an hour in the Terminal, I moved to Kněževes. It’s a tiny village close to the airport, just next to the 24 part of the runway. The Emirates A380 coming from Dubai International passed over my head when I was leaving the car park.

Prague airport is such a spotter-friendly place. Kněževes features a little hill built for plane lovers and other people to take nice pictures of the aircraft and a fence surrounding the secure airport area has holes in it just for cameras. Fantastic!

The place is currently undergoing construction, however, it is still accessible without any limitations.

This is definitely the best spot to watch planes in Prague. Wanna evidence? Here it is!

You are so close to the metal birds here! This part of the runway is most often used for landings so the planes are just to be caught when their gear is touching down as this British Airways A320 coming from London Heathrow is about to do.

The building of Skyport seen in the left part of the picture above used to have a big sign saying ‘Welcome to Prague’ but was unfortunately replaced for a Turkish Airlines advert. Nothing against this airline, but the welcoming board was better in my opinion 🙁

This is how the sky harbour itself is visible from that spotter hill. You can see everything that is happening at either the runway and the taxiways!

Rossiya Airlines with engines roaring during takeoff for St. Petersburg Pulkovo.

And you can also see the holes for cameras in the fence.

Qatar Airways have been operating their flights from Prague to Doha Hamad and back with A320s only until October last year. This Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner is supporting this route since then.

EasyJet very shortly after the landing from Milan Malpensa as the smoke is just created by the left tire.

Václav Havel Airport in Prague is not only used for commercial aircraft but also for the private ones as for example this little Beechjet 400.

Behind this running plane, you can find one gate at Terminal 1 with missing jetbridge. The airport is changing the old ones for newer and more modern jetbridges to board passengers.

When driving from Kněževes back to the airport you are passing the final approach path so you may have an aircraft flying over you as this EasyJet plane, this time the newest Airbus 320 NEO from Amsterdam Schiphol.

Experience summary

Time (h)

Price (CZK)

%

Willflies Rating

Aforementioned time and price are only approximate.

 

So that’s it from today’s spotting experience at Prague. I hope I managed to show you something new, something you didn’t know about the airport and maybe to widen your list of things to see and do in the capital of the Czech Republic 🙂

Have you flown from Prague yet? If so, did you know about the viewing terrace or even visited it? Let me know in the comment section down below.

And don’t forget to follow me on Instagram for more photos.

 

Safe Travels

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