State to acquire 51% stake in Debrecen airport operator

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Hungary's state will acquire a 51% stake in the company operating Debrecen International Airport under a government decision, state secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade Levente Magyar said on Wednesday.

If the decision is approved by the city council at the end of January, state ownership will provide a good basis for further developing Debrecen through the development of the airport, he said. Implementing planned developments worth tens of billions of forints could further strengthen the airport's regional position, he added.

Mayor László Papp said the government in February 2020 approved the city's development strategy until 2030, which makes the upgrade of the international airport a top priority.

Passenger numbers at the airport exceeded 600,000 in 2019, the year before the pandemic, he noted.

Papp said the airport property and facilities will remain in municipal ownership. The 51% stake in the airport operator company will be transferred to the state free of charge, he added. 

If the infrastructure upgrades planned in the strategy are implemented, Debrecen International will be an airport serving 2 million-3 million passengers a year by 2030, the mayor said.

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