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Budapest Airport inaugurates HUF 24.4 bln passenger hall

Budapest Airport inaugurated a HUF 24.4 billion passenger hall at terminal 2 of the capital's Liszt Ferenc Airport.

The 24,000 sqm hall, dubbed SkyCourt, will boost annual passenger capacity at the airport from 4.5-5 million to 8.5 million. The hall has restaurants, cafes and duty-free shops.

Budapest Airport CEO Jost Lammers said the airport operator had completed 82% of the €261 million of investments promised in the airport's privatization contract. The 2A and 2B terminal will soon be renovated and a hotel will be built next to the airport, he added.

The new passenger hall has created 300-400 jobs, Lammers said.

National Development Ministry state secretary Pál Volner said the new hall would certainly leave passengers arriving in Hungary with a positive impression. Feedback from European Union diplomats arriving at the airport has been positive, he added.

The Hungarian National Philharmonic, under the baton of Zoltán Kovács, performed works by Liszt, Bartók, Dvorak and Johann Strauss at the inauguration.

Construction of the hall, designed by the Ybl Prize-winning architect Zoltán Tímár, started in 2009. SkyCourt has 39 shops and catering establishments.

Budapest Airport chairman Reiner Schrankler said further developments at the airport will include the construction of bases for Hungarian airlines Malév and Wizzair, a new cargo centre and a business park for aviation industry companies between terminals 1 and 2.

Budapest Airport served 8.2 million passengers in 2010. There were 105,000 takeoffs and landings and cargo volume came to 83,000 tons. For 2011, the airport operator projects passenger numbers will climb to 8.7 million and the number of takeoffs and landings will reach 111,000.