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Budapest Airport Celebrates 70th Birthday

Péter Cseresnyés 2020.05.08.

Budapest Airport is celebrating its 70th birthday. It was inaugurated 70 years ago, on May 7, 1950. Over the past seven decades, hundreds of millions of passengers and millions of aircraft have used the runways and the terminal buildings of the airport. Although in past months the airport has been rather empty due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, but as a result of the gradual easing of restrictions, it is slowly starting to revive.

Since the inauguration ceremony, the airport has been operating for 25,569 days. Before the coronavirus pandemic, airport staff handled 40-44,000 passengers and 336 flights on average per day. At the end of 2019, airlines connected Budapest with 153 foreign destinations, according to a press release from airport representatives.

Budapest Airport lies on 1,515 hectares, approximately 15 times the area of Budapest’s Margaret Island.

In these seven decades, more than 240 million passengers used Ferenc Liszt International Airport, about 3 and a half million takeoffs, and 2 million tons of goods moved.

Infographic: Budapest Airport

The airport handled nearly 50,000 passengers in 1950, the year of its opening. By 2019, this number hit a new record with 16.2 million passengers. This is a 325-fold increase in passenger traffic over 70 years. The 21,000 square meters of terminal capacity that existed at the time of opening has grown to more than 103,000 by 2020.

According to estimates, the airport has handled around 430 million pieces of baggage over the past 70 years on their currently, 2,290-meter long baggage belts.

Reduced Air Traffic Empties Budapest Airport – Video!

Ferenc Liszt International Airport has two runways: the also 70 year old runway I, which is 3,009 meters long and 45 meters wide, and runway II, commissioned in 1983, which is 3,707 meters long and 45 meters wide. The taxiway network is 18 kilometers long. Today, up to 75 aircraft fit in the terminal aprons concurrently, and 38 aircraft can be handled on the apron of Terminal 2 at any time. By summer 2020, passengers can board via 57 boarding gates and 17 air jetties.

In 2020, Budapest Airport has been awarded ACI’s neutral airport carbon accreditation for the third year running – the only airport in the Central and Eastern European region to receive such accreditation.

Budapest Airport began to calculate its carbon footprint 10 years ago, in 2010. During this time, it was reduced by 39% in absolute terms and by 65% calculated per passenger.

Featured photo by Ferenc Sztraka; Róbert Baranyi/Budapest Airport


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