In July, the Universal Airport Hub opened its doors downtown. At the outlet on Calvin Square, travelers can drop off their bags for safekeeping before their last sightseeing tour of Budapest, passengers of participating airlines can check-in and print boarding passes using the kiosks, and if they are flying with Wizz Air, Air France-KLM or Norwegian Or Aegan, they can also tag their hold baggage for later and faster delivery at the airport. The range of services is constantly expanding, as baggage wrapping and baggage size checks will soon be available in-store, to avoid having to wait at the airport during peak periods.
Since 2019, baggage check-in at the airport has also been supported by a self-service baggage drop system, where travelers can check their bags for their flights independently. Two additional external mechanisms were added to the existing 24 automatic card printing machines in 2022, so that a tag can be placed on the baggage of passengers of the above-mentioned participating airlines upon arrival, at the entrance to the terminal building, and then simply placed on the designated baggage belt in the departure hall. An instructional video on four screens and assistance from the information staff of the Budapest Airport terminal building is available on site.
In response to the needs of passengers, Budapest Airport has started developing an observation deck and smoking in Terminal 2B, so that passengers traveling to a non-Schengen area can wait and smoke outdoors after passport control. The new terrace, with an area of 200 square metres, will be located in the so-called mezzanine hall, second floor of Terminal 2B. The terrace will provide an excellent view of the parking lot, and will also include a covered section (non-smoking), to allow passengers to enjoy the view even in bad weather. After the epidemic eased, the airport operator prioritized the continuation of the project, which had begun earlier. Thus, passengers are expected to be able to use the balcony in September.
To ensure carefree travel for families, the airport now offers five nursing rooms, where parents can care for young children in privacy, with all necessary amenities. Each room has an armchair, wardrobe and changing table, as well as a microwave. The airport operator also provides free push trolleys in the terminals for passengers with young children, which can be used free of charge from security check-in to boarding. The stations have a total of 4 storage areas for strollers and 12 pushchairs, which the operator will expand in the future as needed.
There are also 100 new baggage trolleys available in the terminal, which travelers can use free of charge during their stay at the airport. The operator is also replacing elevators and modernizing passenger and freight elevators in the transit areas of Terminals 2A and 2B.
In order to make the travel process more smooth for travel agents and employees, Budapest Airport has set up a dedicated meeting point on the mezzanine level in the departure halls and a rented table in the baggage claim area for travel agents, to make it easier for groups and group leaders to find each other before and after the flight.
upgrading the infrastructure
In the yard of Terminal 1, the seven pavilions used by the complements are covered with a new basalt concrete pavement with greater load bearing capacity, replacing the previous asphalt pavement of more than 4,000 square metres, to ensure smooth and safe working conditions. In addition, the joints between the concrete slabs in the Terminal 2 yard have been replaced with a new, more durable and flexible material than before, in order to ensure long-term protection of the concrete slabs.
During the summer months, less visible developments for passengers also began, such as the mapping of utility supply options for Terminal 3 and the demolition of operational buildings at the airport that can no longer be renovated and used in their current state. They will be replaced by new facilities of high quality and efficient operation.
Budapest Airport’s strategic goal is to reduce net carbon emissions to zero by 2035 at the latest, ahead of the NetZero deadline by 2050, and it has implemented a number of developments in the first half of this year.
In the first half of 2022, Budapest Airport has installed 35 electric vehicle chargers in the airport’s own fleet, staff and partner car parks, and is currently working on building electric vehicle charging stations for the ground handling partner. Thus, Budapest Airport aims to encourage its partners and employees to use environmentally friendly means of transportation, reducing indirect emissions from the arrival of ground vehicles to the airport in the long term.
The airport operator has also started preparing the necessary studies for the development of the airport’s geothermal heating system. As part of this, experts at Budapest Airport are reviewing the possibility of developing a heating system using the heat produced in the ground, which could eventually replace the use of gas boilers. At present, the company’s natural gas heating system supplies 95% of buildings with heating and hot water during the heating season, which will be replaced by a system based on geothermal wells. Such a renewable solution, free of fossil fuel emissions, would contribute to environmental protection and significantly reduce costs.
As in previous years, the first half of 2022 was all about quality, development and sustainability at Ferenc Liszt International Airport. Budapest Airport has already spent nearly HUF 80 billion on the development of the airport since 2019, that is, over the past three and a half years, and the results are clearly reflected in the passenger feedback. Budapest Airport won the Skytrax award “Best Airport in Eastern Europe” for the ninth time in a row in 2022, outperforming all of its regional competitors in the International Passenger Satisfaction Survey (ASQ) in two consecutive quarters.
Commenting on the developments, Chris Dinsdale, CEO of Budapest Airport said: “In the spring of 2019, we launched a large series of developments at Budapest Airport, which have produced and will continue to represent a quantum leap in quality, passenger experience and sustainability. Key developments of the existing infrastructure – the new passenger berth New cargo base New baggage sorting terminal – already in place, but the entire airport complex is constantly being renovated, in our quest to achieve higher quality and meet the challenges of the coming years The expected growth in tourism over the coming years and achieving our sustainability goals will require us to continuously develop the airport “. He added, “We are now just waiting for the green light from the government to start construction work in preparation for the reopening of Terminal 1, and the development of Terminal 3 has basically begun, with preparations over the past months to equip the airport as one of the largest construction projects in the country.”