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Budapest Airport ready to implement passport free travel

Budapest’s Ferihegy Airport is now ready to implement passport and customs free travel for those passengers arriving from within the Schengen zone.

Nevertheless, the airport authority announced recently, that it will hold off on actually implementing these plans until March 29th, 2008, when similar procedures will be adopted at airports in the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Poland. As such, passengers traveling to Hungary by air are reminded that they will still need to present their passport for inspection, even if they are a citizen of an EU member state. Following the implementation of the Schengen zone policy, passengers arriving at Ferihegy Airport will have to go down one of two corridors, depending on their original point of departure. Those, who arrived on flights within the Schengen zone (including most continental EU states, but excluding the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland) will be able to go straight to the baggage reclaim area. Passengers from the UK, Ireland and elsewhere, however, will still have to go through passport inspection.

Hungary joined the Schengen zone on December 21st, 2007, amidst celebrations throughout the country. Entry into this zone meant that border crossings with Austria, Slovakia and Slovenia were removed, allowing for the complete free movement of peoples across these national boundaries. On the other hand, inspection was strengthened along the Serbian, Croatian and Ukrainian borders, which are now the EU’s external southeast and northeast frontiers, and new technology was also introduced along the border with Romania, a country that has yet to join the Schengen Agreement. (