Growing traffic triggers development at Budapest airport
As passenger numbers and cargo traffic trends both appear to be growing this year at Ferenc Liszt International Airport, operator Budapest Airport has made “growth” a keyword and is eyeing further developments, according to a press statement sent to the Budapest Business Journal
“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. 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. “We must answer this demand both in terms of capacity and service level; this is why we launched our EUR 160 million BUD 2020 airport development program a year ago. This year there are construction cranes all over the airport,” he added.
Construction of a 10,000-sqm passenger pier has just started on the apron in front of Terminal 2B. The new pier will provide direct docking for up to 10 category “C” single aisle aircraft (Airbus A320 or Boeing 737) or three wide-body aircraft (mostly long-haul aircraft such as the Airbus A330 or Boeing 777) on one side and another four category “C” aircraft on the other side, Budapest Airport says. 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 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 press statement added.
Budapest airport to receive hotel, parking spaces
The construction of a new hotel begun last year is in “full swing”, just a two-minute walk from Terminal 2B, Budapest Airport says. 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-story 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 1,000 new spaces to existing car parks, bringing the total number of available parking spaces to more than 4,600. There is a five-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 ten additional check-in desks for the convenience of passengers is already underway at 2B. The new check-in desks will be positioned in the middle of the Terminal building. The construction will also allow for the upgrading of restaurants and the implementation of a new walkthrough duty-free shop to meet increased passenger demand on the airside of the non-Schengen terminal area. 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.
Invisible improvements in the pipeline
There are a series of projects that are less visible but equally important for passengers, Budapest Airport points out. In early March the three-kilometer-long Runway 1 (13R/31L) will be closed for pavement maintenance. In the 900-meter-long touchdown 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 due to be completed by the end of May. Budapest Airport is also replacing the three-kilometer-long fence along the railway tracks and the express road.
In 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. 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 will bring up to 400 new jobs to the airport. Budapest Airport has also started preparations for building a major new warehouse and office complex called Cargo City near Terminal 2 for dedicated air cargo operators.
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