PRAGUE - For the last ten years, the airport in Prague has had the honour of featuring the name of former Czech President Václav Havel in its title. The airport was officially renamed on the anniversary of Mr. Havel’s birthday, i.e., on 5 October 2012, during an event attended by a number of personalities from the social, artistic, and political life of the time. As part of this year's jubilee, Prague Airport, the operator of the international air hub, has prepared several activities that commemorate the personality and life of Václav Havel.
“I am still thankful for the opportunity to have been a part of the airport renaming process ten years ago and, together with my colleagues, to have been able to live up to the expectations of the act with dignity. I think that thanks to the new name, and especially to the personality of Mr. Havel, we have become even more broadly acknowledged as a worthy and confident air hub in the heart of Europe,” Jiří Pos, Chairman of the Prague Airport Board of Directors, said.
Working with the Václav Havel Library, the airport has prepared two exhibitions of photographs from the life of the former president. “The first will be installed in the public part of the Terminal 1 and 2 connecting corridor on exhibition panels, while the second will be located across the airport, primarily airside. We have decided to install photographs in the Relax Zones of both terminal buildings,” Jakub Puchalský, Member of the Prague Airport Board of Directors, added. The exhibition in the connecting corridor will last until the end of October, while the photographs in the transit areas will remain on display until the end of the year.
In both the Departure and Arrival Halls, by the Forum Havlum installation, passengers will find info tablets, from which they can learn everything about the airport renaming, view photographs, and comprehend the importance of the Forum Havlum art object and the Flying Man tapestry. They can also follow the life of Mr. President on a timeline. The tapestry, based on an illustration by artist Peter Sís, will be complemented by a large-format info panel including a photograph of Mr. Havel. The panel, to be hung right next to the tapestry above the area leading to Terminal 2 Pier C, will reveal topassengers the photograph’s origin and meaning.
Renaming Process History
- December 2011 – Fero Fenič, film director, screenwriter, and producer, shortly after the death of the former president of Czechoslovakia and then the Czech Republic, Václav Havel, suggested renaming the international airport in Prague Ruzyně after this important statesman, just as was the custom at other world airports (JFK, Charles de Gaulle, M.R. Štefánik, etc.). The petition was signed by over 80,000 people.
- March 2012 - At its meeting on 21 March 2012, the Government of the Czech Republic approved the use of Václav Havel's name in connection with the international airport in Prague Ruzyně. Dagmar Havlová agreed to the use of her husband's name in this context.
- May 2012 – After consultations with language experts, the official name was published, where, with regard to the airport's international clientele, it was decided that VÁCLAV HAVEL AIRPORT PRAGUE would be used primarily, with the Czech version being LETIŠTĚ VÁCLAVA HAVLA PRAHA.
- September 2012 – From 17 to 27 September 2012, signs with the new airport name in the English version were installed on the airport terminal buildings. October 2012 – On 5 October 2012, the airport was officially renamed.
- December 2012 – The Flying Man tapestry was unveiled. Its production was co-funded by Bono and The Edge from U2, Yoko Ono Lennon, Petr Gabriel, and Sting, who said on the occasion: “The tireless efforts of Václav Havel brought us closer to a world which supports freedom and human rights for all. That is why we miss Václav so much.”