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Budapest Airport to become regional center

Hochtief Airport (HTA), new owner of Budapest Airport, has ambitious plans to transform Ferihegy into the most successful airport in the Central-Eastern European region as Hungary Tourism reported. 

Budapest has been a focus of Hochtief Airport's expansion plans, as the German consortia also participated in the first privatization tender for the airport in 2005, where it came in second after BAA, the company which has just sold them the property. HTA, operator of 6 airports around the world (Athens, Dusseldorf, Hamburg, Sydney, Tirana and now Budapest), will spend more than 261 million on Ferihegy's development until 2011, and it will comply with all obligations laid down in the privatization contracts.

Budapest Airport will increase the capacity of Ferihegy and will improve customer services, check-in and security search processes by significantly developing T2 and T1. A unified terminal will be built by fusing T2A and T2B, including an Airside Plaza connecting the transit areas of T2A and T2B, which will introduce international brands and high international retail standards. To serve the airport and Budapest cargo businesses, BA will also build a new cargo base near T2, in Vecsés.

BA will be developed as a self-contained "Airport City" with a 4-star hotel and conference facilities, car parking, a business and trade park. Traffic at Budapest Airport has been growing at a rate of 11% annually, and though this sort of increase cannot expect to be repeated, HTA is still predicting a 5-6% annual growth rate in the short term. (