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People living in the neighbourhood of Liszt Ferenc International Airport complained about the noise pollution before. Thus, the mayor of Budapest and the minister for innovation and technology had to act.

Locals complained a lot

Mayor Istvan Tarlos and Laszlo Palkovics announced their decision on a Tuesday press conference. According to them, wee-hour flights between 0:00 and 5:00 am will be banned from August 2019 at the Liszt Ferenc International Airport in Budapest. In fact, this is the period of deep sleep; therefore, with the exception of extraordinary situations, no planes should circulate in the airspace of the Hungarian capital – Népszava reported.

The special cases include extreme weather conditions, acts of terror, skyjacking, crash-landing or an emergency situation on board. Furthermore, official authorities will measure the level of noise pollution between 8-12 pm, and 5-8 am. However, upon request,

it will be possible for locals to request individual measurements

if they do not agree with the official results. Based on these, penalties would be imposed in the case of those airlines that break the 0:00-5:00 ban without a reason or exceed the level of sound pollution permitted, and such income would go for noise protection – István Tarlós added. Some would be spent on the development of the already existing noise monitoring system while most of it would go to the retail noise insulation program. In fact, neither Palkovics nor Tarlós talked about exact sums regarding the issue.

To the question asked by Népszava, Palkovics said that on average, there are

3 landings and takeoffs

at Budapest International Airport, but there are months during which no such manoeuvres happen. However, they would like to reduce this number to zero because it discomforts people living in the neighbourhood of the airport. Palkovics added that already 70-80 pc of the landings and takeoffs do not happen from the direction of Budapest, but there are still more than a thousand planes coming and going, using the air lanes above the capital. Moreover, he cleared that the European Aviation Safety Agency has to permit the ban.

Infrastructure developments

István Tarlós announced that they plan to develop the high-speed road between Ferihegy and Budapest after the local elections in October. Furthermore, they would like to

create a direct railway connection between the airport and downtown, too.

According to Palkovics, they are examining two options regarding the railway connection. On the one hand, a completely new direct line could be built while on the other hand, the trains could be included in the timetable of the Hungarian State Railways. The latter is more difficult, but research is not finished yet. Therefore, the minister said nothing about the costs.

Finally, they cleared in the press conference that there is no political motive behind the planned ban on air traffic in the wee hours. According to Tarlos and Palkovics, the decision is based purely on professional reasons and the needs and interests of the locals.

As we reported before, as local elections approach, more Budapest politicians talked about the necessity of diverting some of the increased air traffic from Liszt Ferenc International Airport to somewhere else in the country. This was because locals from many districts claim they cannot live together with the extended noise and air pollution. For them, the above measure could mean a solution.

In fact, the airport operated the most planes in 2005 when 126,000 planes were registered, while this number was only 115,000 last year. However, within the same time period, the No. of passengers increased from 8 million to 15 million.


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