Kraków Airport is the only regional airport in Poland that serves over 8 million passengers during the year, where 24 carriers offer 150 regular flights. The development of the network of connections means, on the one hand, increasing the offer for passengers, and on the other, an operational challenge for the airport.
In connection with the observed exceedances of airport capacity in operational peaks and forecast values of peak hours in subsequent flight seasons, in 2019 Kraków Airport requested the Civil Aviation Authority (ULC) to introduce year-round coordination of flight schedules. Up until now, Kraków Airport had remained on the so-called level 1 flight schedule management, i.e. the operating airlines could plan their flights without additional consultation on operational peaks associated with flights. On 18 September 2019, the ULC decided to designate Kraków-Balice Airport as an airport coordinated year round (level 3) from 2020 summer flight season.
Smooth air traffic flow and reduction of infrastructure load – these are the basic benefits of introducing flight coordination at Kraków Airport. In accordance with the applicable regulations, an airport coordinator – to whom airlines are obliged to report their flight plans – is appointed for airports with a coordinated schedule. In the case of Kraków Airport, this function is performed by the Polish Air Navigation Services Agency. Flight schedule coordination should be a temporary solution. The increase in capacity is influenced by, among others, development of infrastructure. That is why Kraków Airport implements the assumptions of the General Plan for 2016-2036, i.e. the construction of a new runway, expansion of the passenger terminal, extension of the apron and construction of a new cargo terminal.