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2017-02-15 13:24:00

Robust traffic growth boosts development at Budapest Airport

Growth is the keyword for Budapest Airport in the coming years both in terms of connectivity and development. Growing passenger numbers and cargo traffic trends continue in 2017 while the increasing demand triggers a series of development projects for the airport operator. The drive to further improve the quality of service and enhance passenger experience at the airport of the Hungarian capital is stronger than ever.

“Budapest Airport continues to attract new airlines, and existing partners are adding new destinations, increasing their frequencies or capacity, and expanding their networks in 2017. Soon after the launch of easyJet’s new Budapest-Amsterdam service we expect further airline announcements in the coming weeks,” said Jost Lammers, CEO of Budapest Airport. He added, “We must answer this demand both in terms of capacity and service level; this is why we have launched our 160-million-euro (50 bn. HUF) BUD 2020 airport development program a year ago. This year there are construction cranes all over the airport so we are right in the middle of the airport development program.”

This January the construction of a 10 000-square-meter passenger pier commenced with site preparation for the 20-month project on the apron in front of Terminal T2B. The new pier will provide direct docking for up to 10 category C (Airbus A320 or Boeing 737 size) single aisle aircraft or by using the same jetties it can serve simultaneously 3 wide-body aircraft (mostly long-haul aircraft of the Airbus A330 or Boeing 777 size) and another four category C aircraft on its other side. The new pier will provide altogether 27 different embarking options by adding bus gates and allowing for walk-on/walk-off gates depending on airline requirements. The new pier will also increase the area of immigration control for arriving passengers. The construction contractor is KÉSZ Zrt., a proven airport partner who built SkyCourt, the central terminal area, between 2009 and 2011.

The construction of a new hotel is in full swing in the area in front of Terminal 2B on the landside, a 2-minute walk from the terminal. The hotel will have 145 rooms and ample conference facilities, and will be operated under the brand name of ibis Styles Budapest Airport Hotel. The four-storey hotel building complete with restaurant facilities will also offer a new parking area for hotel guests and a direct connection with the airport terminal.

This year alone Budapest Airport will add approximately 1000 new spaces to existing car parks bringing the total number of available parking spaces to over 4.600. There is a 5-category parking system (Terminal, Business, Holiday, Holiday Plus, and Holiday Lite) offering a choice to passengers based on the type of their journey, length of stay, and the distance of the parking facility from the terminals.

The construction of 10 additional check-in desks for the convenience of passengers is already underway at Terminal 2B. The new check-in desks will be positioned in the middle of the Terminal building. The construction will also allow on the airside of the non-Schengen terminal area for the upgrading of restaurants and the implementation of a new walkthrough duty-free shop to meet increased passenger demand. The implementation of the new check-in desks and commercial facilities will be completed by late May just before the start of the main summer travel season. Until then passengers are advised to do their pre-flight shopping in the central outlet of Heinemann Duty Free.

There is a series of projects that are less visible but equally important for passengers. Early March the 3-kilometer-long Runway 1 (13R/31L) of Budapest Airport will be closed for pavement maintenance. In the 900-meter-long touch-down zone of the runway, the load-bearing base and concrete slabs are scheduled for replacement in order to maintain the highest level of flight safety for the coming decades. Runway repairs are expected to be completed by end of May, before the main travel season. Budapest Airport is also replacing the 3-kilometer-long fence along the railway tracks and the express road.

Early summer the first new warehouse and office facility of TNT will be handed over in the area near Terminal 1 earmarked for integrator companies. This project will help integrators to improve their service quality and also to handle parcels at a state-of-the-art facility at the airport. The new facility will start operations early summer. Next to this site another logistics base will be built for DHL Express, increasing the number of airport-based DHL companies to three. The new warehouse and office building of DHL Express will bring up to 400 new jobs to the airport. Budapest Airport has also started preparations for building a new major warehouse and office complex called Cargo City near Terminal 2 for dedicated air cargo operators.