Airport Developments Exceed HUF 130 bln


Photo by BUD.

Budapest Airport launched a major development program in the spring of 2019, and over the past five years, the value of airport developments has exceeded HUF 130 billion, according to a press release sent to the Budapest Business Journal.

This spring, a new series of investments worth HUF 17 bln will be launched, as part of which Terminal 1, which is under historical monument protection, will be refurbished and several infrastructure, capacity and quality improvement investments related to Terminal 2 will commence. Budapest Airport aims to further improve the high quality of its services in the long term, achieved with steadily increasing passenger traffic.

Budapest Airport handled more than 3.4 million passengers in the first quarter of 2024, 10.2% more than in the record year before the pandemic, and the growth did not stop in April either, with the country’s main airport handling 1.4 million passengers. The steady upturn means that annual passenger traffic is expected to exceed the 16.2 million recorded in 2019 and could surpass 30 million by 2030.

May will see the beginning of several large-scale construction works at the airport, which will facilitate expansion and the high-quality services of the continuously growing passenger traffic in the long term. BUD remains committed to developing the airport, as it has demonstrated in recent years, helping the airport to attain and remain the best in the region and also become one of the best in Europe.

“Budapest Airport won a total of 24 Hungarian and international awards last year, which is the result of the dedicated work of the entire airport community. Over the last five years, we have invested 130 billion HUF in the development of the airport, which is confirmed by our four-star rating, the Best Airport in Europe award last year and the Best Airport in Eastern Europe award, received for the eleventh time this year. Moreover, based on the passenger satisfaction survey for the first quarter, we can say that the quality of airport services has reached unprecedented heights this year,” said Kam Jandu, CEO of Budapest Airport.

Concerning the works starting this spring, he emphasized, “We cannot compromise on quality in the future. Therefore, this will require the expansion of our current capacities and the continuous development of services at Terminal 2. Major works will start in May, laying the foundations for capacity growth across many areas, which will serve passenger satisfaction in the long term and ensure that Ferenc Liszt International Airport remains the best airport in the region.”

Multistory Car Park to Be Built

The design of a multistory car park in the immediate vicinity of Terminal 2, a short walking distance from the entrance, has begun. In the first phase, Relax Parking will have 2000 parking spaces on three floors. In addition, construction work on several projects will start on 13 May: the airport’s sewage network will be reconstructed and the drainage system extended to serve the airport’s needs for decades. In parallel, a new access road to the BUD Cargo City will be built, improving cargo servicing and ultimately providing direct and fast access between the air cargo handling complex and the M4 motorway, relieving congestion on the express road.

Major works will also start inside the airport perimeter fence in May, with earth filling works needed to build a new apron, to accommodate aircraft ground handling for the growth in traffic. The future apron extension will enable 12 aircraft to be served simultaneously and is the first phase of a significant apron development. In addition, Budapest Airport’s partners will soon be moving to a new, more modern, and comfortable office building; tenants currently working in temporary premises will be accommodated in a new, two-story, 3000 square meter building, with construction due to start in June 2024.

At Pier 1 in Terminal 2, opened in 2020, passengers will soon be able to use buses at six boarding gates, instead of the current three. Major components of the air handling system serving the departure hall of Terminal 2A will be replaced, significantly improving air quality in the area, especially on the mezzanine.

Four new fuel trucks will be added to the fleet of the Airport Fuel Supply company, while the Airport Fire Service, which officially joined the BUD group last October, will receive a renewed training ground.

Baggage Reclaim to Become More Efficient

The next phase of the renewal of the baggage reclaim hall on the A side of Terminal 2 will soon be completed. In addition to the two new, significantly lengthened belts handed over in the previous phase, two new carousels, longer and more modern than the old ones are now being installed as long-haul flights continue to return and exceed pre-pandemic levels. In addition, BUD has replaced the four escalators on the T2A side with a more modern type by spring this year, which also operates with better energy efficiency. The refurbishment works were complemented by the replacement of the floor tiles in both the landside and the airside areas, providing a much brighter appearance.

The iconic Terminal 1, a listed building, will also be renewed. The building’s façade will partially be refurbished, the condition of the glass canopies and skylights will be improved, the interior of the main terminal areas and the restrooms will be refurbished and lighting in the building will be replaced with LED fixtures. Security systems will also be upgraded, to be able to serve passengers at any time: the fence section near Gate B and the one running between the General Aviation Terminal and main road number 4 will be renovated with more CCTV cameras installed, while the surveillance system of the terminal will be fully digital in the future. The area surrounding the building will also be improved, with landscaping works commencing around Terminal 1.

The airport is being renewed not just from a technical perspective. The retail offer has also expanded greatly in recent months, with a number of popular local and international brands opening in Terminal 2. Passengers flying from Budapest can now shop at WHSmith, Obsentum, CandyTo Go and the Heinemann Sunglasses Multibrand Shop. Passengers can also enjoy new additions to the gastronomic offer. In addition to the Bottega Prosecco Bar on the A side, two new street food kiosks have opened in Pier 1, available to both departing and arriving passengers.

Passengers’ perception of Budapest Airport has reached unprecedented heights, as evidenced by the awards and surveys of the past year. BUD is continuously working to provide high-quality services to meet the growing number of passengers, with a strong focus on quality and the passenger experience. Ferenc Liszt International Airport has undergone a major transformation over the past five years, with a consistent strategy focusing on quality and the passenger experience and a series of developments worth more than HUF 130 bln. This development is also highly appreciated by passengers, according to the latest independent survey, which ranked Budapest Airport first out of 20 peer airports, ahead of airports such as Prague, Alicante, and Barcelona. This is the first time in the history of the airport that the operator has achieved this high ranking.

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