The history of the airport in Planá near České Budějovice dates back to the first half of the 20th century. The service pilots were presented here for the first time on 27 June 1937 at the air day organised on the occasion of the official opening of the airport. During the Second World War, the airport was used for training of the German Luftwaffe. Paradoxically, at the end of the 1940s, the pilots of the newly established State of Israel were trained here. In 1947, the Czechoslovak Airlines started the regular civil air traffic on the Prague – České Budějovice line, unfortunately only for a short period of approximately 1 year. After 1948, the airport was included among the military airports and gradually became one of the most important and largest military airports in Czechoslovakia. The military air force definitively left it in 2005.
In order to maintain the continuity of air traffic even after the army’s departure, the joint-stock company Jihočeské letiště České Budějovice a.s. was established at the beginning of 2005. At the end of that year, the company obtained a licence to operate a public national airport and started a civil operation in April 2006. In May 2007, the Civil Aviation Authority of the Czech Republic granted an “Non-public International Airport, Category 4C” license to the České Budějovice Airport, enabling them to receive and handle aircraft with the maximum wing span of 36 metres, using a 2.5 kilometre long runway. At the same time, the government finally decided to transfer the former combat part of the military airport to the South Bohemian Region. The Agreement on the Transfer of Assets was signed by the Defence Minister Vlasta Parkanová, together with the Governor of the South Bohemian Region Jan Zahradník on 11 September 2007, thereby finally opening the way to the construction of a civilian international airport in the south of Bohemia. In March 2008, Jihočeské letiště České Budějovice a.s. received a licence to operate the “Non-public international airport with an external border”. The České Budějovice airport is thus open to aircraft arriving from or departing to the countries both within and outside of the Schengen Area.
In 2019, a new airport terminal with the necessary infrastructure for medium-haul aircraft, i.e. Europe and the countries in the Mediterranean region, was built at the České Budějovice Airport. The new construction included access roads, parking areas, renewed and extended handling area, airport security building, as well as passenger handling technologies and, last but not least, new lighting equipment. After the completion of the modernisation in June 2019, the České Budějovice Airport started a trial operation in the VFR day mode, i.e. according to the rules of visual flights in the day, and it is currently permitted to operate aircraft with the maximum wing span of 36 metres, including turbo-jet aeroplanes. Commercial air traffic is assumed to start here in 2021, in particular, charter flights to popular holiday destinations. The Boeing 737 or Airbus A320 aircraft will be able to land at České Budějovice Airport