Kraków Airport plans to invest around one billion zloty into infrastructure development. This is crucial, as the passenger traffic predictions indicate that in 2036 Kraków Airport will handle as many as 12 million passengers. The airport’s development entails the creation of over 10 thousand direct and indirect jobs and will contribute to the development of local economy both in Kraków and Małopolska.
Recent years have witnessed some breakthroughs in the history of Kraków Airport. A certain stage of investments into the restricted and public zones of the airport has been completed. Last year, a decision was made to adopt an investment plan, whose key element is the construction of a new runway, by 2023. It was the beginning of taking a broader approach to the management of the business operators acting within the capital group of Międzynarodowy Port Lotniczy im. Jana Pawła II Kraków-Balice sp. z o.o. A decision was also made to develop the group’s Strategy. These years have also seen the initiation of the Master Plan, i.e. a plan for the development of the whole Kraków Airport, as a new runway will not provide passenger service without the remaining airport infrastructure, such as the terminal, apron and parking lots. All trends visible on the air service market indicate that air traffic will be increasing in Poland.
Kraków Airport’s 2017-2036 Master Plan
The Master Plan takes into account the trends that occur on the aviation market, and is consistent with the development of the region and the aviation industry in Poland and Europe. The Master Plan for Kraków Airport, adopted by all governing bodies of the company, is an extension of the Investment Plan by 2023, which was adopted last year. The Master Plan sets the course for the development of the airport in the next twenty years. The crucial part of the airport’s further modernisation is still the construction of a new runway, which remains to be the key element of the airport’s infrastructure.
The implementation of the tasks described in the Master Plan is divided into three stages. Upon their completion in 2036, the airport will be ready for handling as many as 12 million passengers a year, and managing the air traffic which will be the result of creating a new central hub airport – Centralny Port Komunikacyjny – between Warsaw and Łódź. Kraków Airport is going to confirm its role of the largest regional airport in Poland. The airport strives to play the role of a leader among European regional airports with regard to the quality of the services it provides for its passengers.
In 2017, Kraków Airport offers flights to four continents (Europe, Africa, Asia and North America). In 2036, it will still be a regional airport handling mainly European flights operated by carriers that mostly use code C aircraft, such as B-738, A-319 or A-320.
The passenger terminal will be expanded to cover the area of 80 thousand square metres (currently 55 thousand square metres). The apron is planned to contain 35 parking stands – this includes 13 new stands for code C aircraft (currently there are 22 stands). The location of the Cargo terminal will be moved so that it is situated directly by the current DW 774 road and its warehouse space will be increased by around 50%. According to the Plan, the cargo will continue to be handled mainly by scheduled planes, and cargo operations will constitute a small percentage of flights departing from Kraków Airport. The present cargo terminal will be demolished and a passenger terminal will be built in its place. Kraków Airport plans to allocate around one billion zloty for these investments over the next twenty years. All investments will be implemented in line with environmental legislation, in a manner that does not put a strain on the financial standing of the company. The funds for the investments will mostly come from the company’s own resources and from issued bonds.
The Master Plan has been adopted by the governing bodies of Międzynarodowy Port Lotniczy im. Jana Pawła II Kraków-Balice Sp. z o.o. Kraków Airport, however the plan’s implementation requires consultations with external bodies: firstly with the communes whose territories are included in the Plan. Next, the Plan will be submitted for the opinion of the President of the Polish Civil Aviation Authority and, having been discussed with the Minister of National Defence and the minister responsible for regional development, it will be submitted for approval of the minister responsible for transport with regard to its compliance with the state’s transport policy, i.e. the Minister of Infrastructure and Construction. Should the number of the handled passengers increase faster than it was predicted, some of the investments will be implemented earlier. Conversely, if the increase is slower than expected, part of the investments will be implemented at later dates, or Kraków Airport will withdraw from their implementation altogether. When taking into account the period covered by the Master Plan, the possible need to implement investments other than those described above, such as the ones resulting from changes in legislation or trends on the remarkably dynamic market of air services, will also have to be considered.
According to the findings of an analysis carried out by Airports Council International, the impact of airports on the local economy can be divided into four groups: direct, indirect (associated with the economic activity of the companies working at the airport), induced (expenses and investments of people who obtain revenue from airport operations) and catalytic (impact on the development of enterprises and on the influx of investors). Thanks to Kraków Airport’s development, the total of 10 thousand additional jobs that reflect these four economic impacts on the labour market will be created in the region by 2036.
Development of airport-related infrastructure
As a regional airport, Kraków Airport is a crucial element of the country’s transportation infrastructure. Hence, it is essential to implement solutions that allow better access to the airport by road. The decisions on the implementation of such measures do not lie with the airport. Kraków Airport has supported such investments as the construction of Zabierzów bypass, and strives for regional road 774 to be moved to the north of the motorway bypass. Communication solutions, which are so important to the passengers, inhabitants and employees of the airport, are the factors that contribute to the condition of the traffic stream around it.