Polish regional airports service record number of passengers

Thirteen Polish regional airports serviced a record number of 28.1 million passengers in 2018, 15.3 percent more than in the previous year, according to data from the Polish Regional Airports Union.

The union notes that that pace of development of Polish regional airports was by far faster than the average development of European airports. According to Airports Council International Europe, European airports developed at an average pace of 6.0 percent.

Kraków airport, which serviced 6.76 million passengers remained Poland's biggest regional port, followed by Gdańsk (4.98 million) and Katowice (4.83 million). The list is closed by the Zielona Góra airport, in western Poland, which serviced some 21,000 passengers.

Poznań airport recorded the highest increase in the number of passengers at 33.7 percent. A 17.2 percent rise in traffic was reported by the Katowice airport.

Polish Regional Airports Union President Artur Tomasik commenting on challenges which regional ports will have to face in 2019 said that Brexit will be the biggest challenge as, in case of a no-deal exit, there will be little chance for increasing the number of flights between the EU and Great Britain. He noted that every fourth passenger departing from a Polish regional port was headed to the UK.

Another problem will be the annual capacity of regional ports, now estimated at 32 million. To cope with the increasing number of passengers, the union has prepared a document on necessary investments that would assure optimal development of the sector in the coming years. Polish regional ports plan to implement some 210 projects to the year 2037. Their cost is estimated at PLN 4.1 billion (EUR 960 million).