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Facing ultimatum, Budapest Airport to build budget terminal

Budapest Airport Zrt., operator of Ferenc Liszt International, is building a new light-frame terminal dedicated to low-cost airline passengers. The new building is set to replace the uncomfortable “container terminal” that has long been subject to passenger complaints.

Budapest Airport confirmed a Wednesday report by pro-government daily Magyar Nemzet in a statement, saying that the construction of the new low-cost terminal is indeed ongoing, but that the exact details will only be announced later, according to online English-language news site Hungary Today.

Construction of the one-story facility is reportedly underway on the site of the previously planned Terminal 2C. The wing will be accessible to passengers via the current Terminal 2B.

According to Magyar Nemzet, unlike the current low-cost “container terminal,” the new light-frame building will provide comfort with seats, heating and cooling, toilets and stores, while passengers will not have to walk up to 15 minutes to their aircraft as airport buses will serve them.

Hungary Today recalled that back in August, Antal Rogán, head of the Cabinet Office of the Prime Minister, revealed at a committee meeting that the government had attempted to purchase Ferenc Liszt International, but had failed. Rogán spoke then about unacceptable conditions at the airport.

The pro-government newspaper also recalled that the government had announced at the end of July that the management of the airport would rebuild the container terminals, the so-called “basic boarding gates” serving low-budget flights which lack seats, bathrooms, heating and cooling, and are constantly criticized by passengers.

Gergely Gulyás, minister in charge of the Prime Minister’s Office, said in a previous government briefing that the government had issued an ultimatum to Budapest Airport, and that the use of the low-cost “container terminal” would be banned by decree as of January 1, 2020, unless there is a change.

The new building will be completed by yearʼs end, Magyar Nemzet reported.