A large-scale series of developments spanning several years and including the maintenance of the airport taxiway system is under way. This year, as part of the work phase lasting until the fall, taxiways P1-P3, L, R and Q will be refurbished, thus facilitating the safe, efficient and long term handling of the increasing traffic. The project is the continuation of 167 million euros worth of airport developments implemented over the past two years. The value of this project, which is one of many currently under way, has reached 800 000 euros during this year already.
Utilizing the current, momentarily still moderate traffic, Budapest Airport commenced the works in the busiest areas on the Terminal 2 apron, taking into account factors such as the significant cargo traffic and the expected strong increase in passenger traffic. Budapest Airport phased the developments in such a way that they should not disturb regular passenger traffic at the airport in any way.
As it is now in the case of the ongoing UEFA European Football Championship, construction works affecting aircraft traffic will be suspended for the duration of any future major events, such as the Eucharistic Congress coming up in September.
As part of the refurbishment of the taxiway shoulders this year, the shoulders of the taxiways, the related edge lights, substructures and elements of the rainwater drainage systems located next to the taxiways will be replaced on approximately 7000 square meters, and the gullies built into the pavement will also be renovated along a 130 meter section.
As part of major airport development, the project has been preceded over the past two years by major investments such as the air cargo handling complex called the BUD Cargo City, thanks to which the volume of air cargo handled by Budapest Airport is breaking records on a monthly basis, and the modern, spacious and accessible Pier 1 connecting to Terminal 2A.
Budapest Airport closed last year with a record loss of 110 million EUR, but continued to develop the airport in 2020. In spite of the crisis affecting the industry, the airport operator completed 95% of the development projects planned for 2019, bringing forward the completion of several development or renovation works to the period of reduced passenger traffic. During the past two years, Budapest Airport implemented infrastructure, capacity and digital expansion and modernization investments totaling 167 million euros.
Nearly half of this is made up of developments implemented during the year of the crisis.
The continuous enhancing of the passenger experience and of the quality of airport services is a key priority for the owners and the management of Budapest Airport. The operator therefore intends to continue the developments in 2021, one important element of which is the currently ongoing, almost half a billion HUF taxiway and aircraft stand refurbishment project. Thanks to the responsible financial management of the previous years and the airport’s financially strong and fully committed owners, the company implemented the developments of the last few years largely from its own resources and, to a smaller extent, from market-based sources of financing.
Budapest Airport is one of the few airports in Europe to have weathered the coronavirus crisis stably, without any significant state support.
Moreover, during this period, the airport operator spent more than 80 million EUR on developments. This was also helped by the fact that the owners reinvested all the profits made during the 2019 business year into crisis management. We would like to note in connection with this that in the period since 2007, the Budapest Airport Group only produced a true profit in two years, while it accumulated losses of 238 million euros and spent 577 million euros in investments.