It has been officially announced that the Liszt Ferenc International Airport can indeed be expanded with an additional terminal in the future. According to the information of Hungarian economy website mfor.hu, the airport operator also revealed that in addition to the construction of the third terminal, a more serious €1 billion development is being planned to rehabilitate the airport and its surroundings, as well as a new transport hub and expansion of parking lots are also in the works.
The operator of the airport, Budapest Airport Zrt. (BA) said that they have been working in a joint working group with the specialists appointed by the government for more than a year now on the future plans. Now, the development plan agreed by both parties is ready for signing. This includes the construction of a new terminal building, the complete renovation of the airport and existing buildings, the creation of a so-called transport hub (where the long-planned railway line would also run), and the expansion of parking facilities. The total value of all these developments can easily reach 800 million or even 1 billion euros, but it can even exceed it, reported mfor.hu.
The news of the third terminal in Ferihegy is not new, as at the end of September it was already published in some newspapers that István Garancsi’s company, Market Építő Zrt. would be able to take on the project, but the expansion has now officially been confirmed for the first time. Although BA, responding to mfor.hu, acknowledged that they had to reconsider the planned developments due to a significant reduction in traffic because of the coronavirus epidemic, only a few smaller projects had to be postponed. Larger developments will be implemented depending on the needs of the post-epidemic recovery and future passenger traffic.
American business website Bloomberg recently wrote an article in which they wrote that the reduced traffic at Ferihegy could be a good excuse for the airport to fall into Hungarian hands again. According to the newspaper’s information at the beginning of October, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s allies had already made a takeover bid for the owners of Budapest Airport. The head of the Indotek Group, which is considered be independent of the government’s inner circle but still having good business relations with them, said a few days ago that they were indeed negotiating a takeover bid for the consortium led by the Hungarian company. However, according to the mfor.hu article, the future developments indicated by BA indirectly refute the transfer of operation of the airport.
At the country’s main airport, a low-cost terminal was handed over in January, where low-cost airline passengers can wait before boarding their aircraft. At the same time, the so-called ‘container building’ is being demolished by the airport operator. The 11,500-square-meter passenger pier was completed in 339 days, financed entirely by BA, and the value of the investment was EUR 33 million (HUF 11.5 billion). The construction of the external baggage hall was also completed in 2020, expanding the luggage system in the SkyCourt building. The company also made digital improvements, and automatic gates have been installed to facilitate passenger traffic and self-service baggage handling within the terminal. Airport runways and busy taxiways have also been renovated. It has also been announced that BA will build a new hangar for the French Satys Group, financed by BA. These and future investments can guarantee that they will be able to serve European-level passenger traffic once it is on the rise again after the epidemic.
featured photo: illustration (Zoltán Balogh/MTI)