Will Budapest Airport be moved from Ferihegy?
All the details about why people have been complaining so much about Budapest Airport, and what could possibly happen in the future are here. Will they move low-cost airlines from Budapest? Will traffic be banned at night?
There have been rumours about moving low-cost airlines from Budapest to another location due to the constant noise complaints of locals. 24.hu tried to find out how reasonable that would be, or even if it is possible at all.
Daily News Hungary also reported that a ban was proposed recently on the night air traffic at Budapest Airport because locals are constantly complaining about the noise. Their complaint is not irrational, as the period between midnight and 5 a.m. is usually when people are in their deep sleep phase, and the noise of the planes is very damaging to this very sensitive period in the sleep cycle which can be very harmful to our health.
For all of these reasons, the mayor of Budapest, István Tarlós, proposed a complete ban on flights from midnight and 5 a.m. and he would even extend this period to 6 a.m. Read about the details below:
However, a ban on flights is very uncommon at international airports. It would be impossible to carry it out because the airport needs to be prepared for emergencies at all times, such as an emergency landing or organ transports, when human lives are at stake. It is not possible to shut down an entire airport for the night. However, experts do admit that something needs to be done about noise pollution.
Budapest Airport is aware of the noise problem, and it is willing to do something about it. The airport even offered to pay for the necessary constructions (e.g. insulation, installation of venting system, etc.) in 2010. The airport also claims to comply with all the rules and regulations. According to the regulations, between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., a maximum of 50 flights are allowed (including takeoffs and landings, scheduled and non-scheduled flights).
Half of Budapest Airport’s traffic is provided by low-cost airlines like Wizz Air and Ryanair. These airlines aim to minimise all costs. Thus, the planes take as many turns a day as possible between certain destinations (3-4 a day). Many flights leave at night due to technical reasons: planes need to take off before sunrise because the plane would need twice as long a take-off run in warmer air.
Even though these low-cost airlines minimise all costs, they usually use the newest aeroplanes which are more economical, more modern, and much quieter. For example, Wizz Air operates a plane called A321neo, which is supposed to be very quiet. Not to mention that these airlines aim to use planes with the biggest capacities to decrease the No. of takeoffs and landings. So, even though the airport’s traffic is increasing, the up-to-date technology should result in less noise pollution after all.
Continuously increasing traffic
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.
There are many other airports in Hungary apart from Budapest Airport, and many of these would be big enough to serve millions of passengers. Nevertheless, experts say that it would be impossible to establish a new airport or to expand the existing ones outside Budapest. It would be a money-losing project due to the many debts and permits that would be impossible to get.
The British company, BAA Ltd., paid 1.9 billion Euros for Budapest Airport stocks and for the rights to operate the airport for 75 years in 2005. In exchange, the Hungarian government agreed not to build any other airports within the 100 km range of Ferihegy, and also cannot approve any other plans for an airport’s construction.
If it did, the government would have to pay an enormous amount in fees. According to lawyers, the government would have to pay approximately 2 billion Euros for breaking the contract.
There is no place outside Ferihegy where it would be possible to build a 20-40 km long airstrip, which is far away from any mountains and wires. It would also need to be away from any nature reserves, and locals would need to support construction as well, which would be highly unlikely.
Featured image: www.bud.hu