According to mno.hu, Budapest Airport spends annually over EUR 15 million on developments in the coming years. Among other things, the new dock expanding the passenger capacity of the 2. terminal can be built – Jost Lammers, CEO of Budapest Airport Zrt., which operates the Liszt Ferenc Airport, told MTI.
According to the manager of the airport, the developments are justified by the continuous and strong increase of the passenger traffic. In 2014, more than 9 million passengers were served, which is a record, including the Malev era as well. This year, the passenger traffic has increased by 12% and it can exceed the 10 million for the first time by the end of the year. The double-digit-increase is significantly higher than at the other airports in the region. In the first half year, 12.3% more passengers went to Budapest, while the EU average is 4.9%. Although this growth rate will not be easy to maintain, they calculate with 12 million passengers in 2018, Lammers said.
The capacity of the 2. terminal has to be expanded to serve this amount of passengers. Due to the increasing number of long-haul flights, the 2B terminal side has to be developed. The most urgent investment is the new dock, which, by connecting the terminal building, is able to serve more discount and traditional, narrow and wide-body plane at the same time – the CEO said.
The plans are already preparing, the call for tenders will be next year, and the facility will have been handed over by 2018. In addition, passenger security checkpoints and parking lots are also expanded and developed – he said.
The CEO thinks there are new opportunities in constructing new logistical, store and office buildings which satisfy the needs of air and ground freight companies. He stressed they did not abort their earlier plans regarding to build a new air cargo base, but more time and additional dynamic growth are needed for this. The handover of the center called Cargo City is not expected before 2018-2019.
Key sector like car production
According to mno.hu, Jost Lammers highlighted the significant potentials for development in some other industries, for example aircraft maintenance. Aeroplex of Central Europe and Lufthansa Technik Budapest, the two maintenance companies performing the repair of Boeing and Airbus planes at the airport, employ 750-800 highly-qualified employees. These companies have a significant growth potential. The industry can become a key industry like car production in Hungary, there are the properly trained professionals for this.
The airport features are excellent, there are good transport connections, its area is larger than London Heathrow, which is one of the busiest airports, Jost Lammers said.
Not only transfers
The CEO said now 99% of the passengers coming to Budapest actually travel to Hungary, not just transfer. These, so-called point-to-point passengers spend a substantial amount in the capital, contribute to the GDP, but transferring passengers – of whom there were 1.5 million a year until 2011 – spend only a short time at the airport and does not requisite anything outside the transit area.
The disadvantage is they cannot call long-haul flight without transferring passengers, since there are no regional or so-called feeder airlines in Budapest – he added.
Balkans is missing
The airport is in a worse situation as it was in the Malev era that nobody covered the Balkans, but there is considerable potential in this market.
Event Center and hotel
With regard to the re-opening of Terminal 1, the CEO said the building is not suitable for the efficient management of passenger traffic, and the operation of two terminals 6km away is not economical. Since its historic character, its interior cannot be changed, but it would be necessary for creating a higher-capacity passenger security checkpoint. Currently, Budapest Airport utilizes it as an event center – he said.
based on the article of mno.hu
translated by BA