The long awaited International airport at Ceske Budejovice is now officially going ahead with its proposed widening of services, starting in the year 2012. Although not good news regarding green issues, it's perceived as a godsend to the businesses and international travellers from (and to) this region. Ceske Budejovice is not well connected to Prague (although the distance is only around 150 km, it takes 2 and half hours by mostly non-motorway road, and 2 and half by train) and so air-tourists to the region usually come via Linz airport which is nearer - this is especially true for the Brits and the Spanish, who all use the Ryanair services.
And so our own town, Cesky Krumlov, is full of the topic today: the new airport is 15-20 minutes from here. Up till now it only accommodated small planes, but now it will be able to serve planes such as Boeing 737 or Airbus A320. The airport will serve 300,000 passengers a year to start with, and half the money for the essential new terminal and all the other associated buildings and equipment is coming from the EU.
What will this mean for our small, cosy British 'colony' here? Will Ryanair or their like be jumping in to bring a similar wave of British second-home seekers that seems to have sprung up around practically all the cheap European destinations? Might the Brits go for the pretty farmhouses before the prices rocket, might they want a piece of Cesky Krumlov, or seek out the romantic huts in the woods? Well, perhaps not: with the current crisis it could just mean a huge influx of beer-lovers going for boozy stag-nights at Ceske Budejovice's huge Budvar brewery :-)
We'll have to see: whatever happens, the airport is here to come - and stay.