Prague Airport History
Prague–Ruzyně Airport began operations on 5 April 1937, but Czechoslovak civil aviation history started at the military airport in Prague–Kbely in 1919. The Prague Aviation Museum is now found at Kbely Airport.
Due to insufficient capacity of the Kbely airport in the middle of the 1930s, the Government decided to develop a new State Civil Airport in Ruzyně. One of the major awards Prague Ruzyně Airport received include Diploma and Gold Medal granted in 1937 at 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 4) designed by architect Ing. A. Beneš.
In one of the most dramatic moments in its history, the airport was seized by Soviet paratroopers on the night of 20–21 August 1968, who then facilitated the landing of Soviet troops and transports for the invasion of Czechoslovakia.
Moreover, the Ruzyně fields provide opportunities for further expansion of the airport according to the increasing capacity demand. The airport serves as a hub of the trans-European airport network.
The political and economic changes affected the seventy years of existence of Prague–Ruzyně Airport. Some new air transportation companies and institutions were founded and some ceased operation since then. Ten entities have been responsible for airport administration over time, including the new construction and development. Until the 1990s, there were two or three-decade gaps before the major modernization of Prague–Ruzyně Airport began to match the current capacity requirements.
The airport stood in for Miami International Airport in the 2006 James Bond film Casino Royale.
An online petition organized by one of the best-known Slovak film directors, Fero Fenič, calling on the government and the Parliament to rename Prague Ruzyně Airport to Václav Havel International Airport attracted – in just one week after 20 December 2011 – the support of over 65,000 signatories both within and outside the Czech Republic. A rendition of the airport with the proposed Václav Havel name in the form of his signature followed by his typical heart symbol suffix was included in the blog's article in support of renaming of the airport. This name change took place on 5 October 2012 on what would have been Havel's 76th birthday. However, the PRG name of the airport for IATA and ICAO will remain the same.
It was the 38th busiest airport in Europe in 2016.