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Frequently asked questions about our corporate responsibility

Has the airport become less noisy and more environmentally friendly since the bankruptcy of Malév?
Is it possible to have a night-time ban on aircraft traffic at the airport?
Why don’t aircraft fly at higher altitudes over residential areas? Why don’t they avoid residential areas?
Can one of the runways be closed?
Wouldn't it be possible to use the runway ends in a more balanced manner?
Why are noise thresholds specified in par values? Why aren't individual noise emissions taken into account?
How can I report noise burdens that I have experienced?
To what extent do aircraft pollute the air in residential areas?
Emissions of hazardous materials are ruining produce in the vegetable garden. Can this be true? If so, what can be done against it?
Is it true that aircraft are discharging fuel over our heads?


Has the airport become less noisy and more environmentally friendly since the bankruptcy of Malév?

The temporary decrease in aircraft and passenger traffic did indeed bring about a reduction in noise and carbon dioxide emissions. The drastic, 20 percent drop in aircraft movements means that noise burdens generated by aircraft using the airport have never decreased so significantly within such a short period of time.
But Budapest Airport had taken numerous measures to improve the quality of life for nearby residents even before the Malév bankruptcy. The airport operator has implemented numerous voluntary initiatives in order to reduce noise and carbon dioxide emissions from the operation of the airport. At present, in spite of the difficult financial situation, we are still striving to achieve a healthy balance between the benefits and the other impacts resulting from the vicinity and the operation of the airport.

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Is it possible to have a night-time ban on aircraft traffic at the airport?

This issue is determined by legal provisions, which Budapest Airport fully respects in the course of its operation. According to currently valid regulations, 50 aircraft movements may be planned between 10:00 p.m. and 06:00 a.m. and 6 movements between midnight and 05:00 a.m. However, there may be a difference between the number of planned and actual flights in case of unfavorable weather or traffic conditions, due to flights being implemented in deviation from initial plans.
Budapest Airport recognizes the flexibility which these regulations allow airlines and would not support a complete night-time ban. Most other international airports allow some night flying, so Hungary would suffer a competitive disadvantage if this flexibility were lost. It would also make Budapest Airport the only airport in the region not accessible at night-time. Our aim, therefore, is to minimize the number of night flights and their impacts as much as possible by banning the noisiest aircraft and encouraging the use of the quietest aircraft through our landing charges.

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Why don’t aircraft fly at higher altitudes over residential areas? Why don’t they avoid residential areas?

Due to the airport’s location in relation to Budapest, it is not possible to avoid residential areas. Flying altitudes are defined by regulations and by safe flying operations. HungaroControl (the Hungarian air traffic control service) has reviewed flight procedures with the involvement of Budapest Airport and international experts in order to explore ways to minimize noise burdens. There is very little flexibility to change landing flight paths and procedures, because aircraft must approach the airport on the last 10-15 kilometers flying along a straight line, on a 3 degree glide path. Thus, aircraft always fly over nearby residential areas at roughly the same altitude.

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Can one of the runways be closed?

Temporary closures do occur due to certain weather, renovation and maintenance works, but a permanent closure of one of the runways is not possible. The two runways operate in a so-called bayonet system; one is used for landings and the other for take-offs, in accordance with the wind direction and in order to minimize noise impacts on surrounding communities.

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Wouldn't it be possible to use the runway ends in a more balanced manner?

No. This is because very strict restrictions are in force with regard to the use of the runway end near Rákoshegy, in order to protect the residents of this community, located very close to the airport. Budapest Airport has sent a written proposal to the municipality of District XVII to commence negotiations about the purchase of certain affected properties, but no answer has been received to date.

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Why are noise thresholds specified in par values? Why aren't individual noise emissions taken into account?

International regulations use individual noise levels from aircraft to determine the noise categories of aircraft. This noise category is used by governments to determine which aircraft types can use their airports, and for airports to determine what time certain aircraft can land and take off. For instance, based on currently valid regulations, Budapest Airport may not receive the noisiest aircraft, or only with prior permission from the authorities, for example in case of government or military flights.
Noise par values are used to measure the average exposure to noise over a period of time. This is the accepted international standard, and Hungarian legal provisions also follow this approach. We cannot change these international measurement and evaluation regulations. Nevertheless, Budapest Airport is currently studying options in order to provide a basis for regulations which take individual noise impacts into account.

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How can I report noise burdens that I have experienced?

Please call our toll-free hotline on +36 80 20 38 20 or send an e-mail to kornyezetvedelem@bud.hu. If you would like to write to us by mail, please send your letter to:
Budapest Airport Zrt.
Environment, Health and Safety Directorate
1675 Budapest, Pf. 53.

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To what extent do aircraft pollute the air in residential areas?

Aircraft, like road vehicles, factories and wood-burning fireplaces in homes, generate emissions into the air as fuel is burnt. The European Union has passed regulations which set thresholds for the levels of pollutants which may be emitted into the air. Aviation is responsible for just 2% of emissions on a global scale. If we look at emissions within the transport industry, aviation provides 12% compared to 74% by road traffic.

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Emissions of hazardous materials are ruining produce in the vegetable garden. Can this be true? If so, what can be done against it?

This is absolutely impossible. The concentration of burnt fuel from overflying aircraft is so diluted when it reaches the ground that it cannot possibly be responsible for such problems.

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Is it true that aircraft are discharging fuel over our heads?

This is completely untrue. There are very strict regulations which govern the discharge of fuel; it is only permitted in emergency situations, at the prescribed altitude and far away from residential areas. Most of the aircraft used today are not even equipped with an emergency discharge valve. Looking at the issue from another perspective, given the high cost of fuel nowadays, there is no logical reason why airlines would want to waste fuel by discharging it.

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