by Josephine Cordero Sapién
17 Jan 2020
On 15 January the first phase of a new 11,500 square metre boarding hall opened at Budapest Airport. Operation of the basic boarding gates at the airport will cease today.
The Pier 1, which will be completed in its entirely in summer 2020, is replacing the airport’s more basic gates. The project is one of co-operation between the airport and government of Hungary.
Budapest Ferenc Liszt International Airport acts as a gateway to the country with 15 million passengers using the airport in 2018. In 2019 passenger numbers rose to 16 million. To accommodate them, there are almost 122,000 takeoffs and landings every year.
One of the reasons the airport is expanding is because of the continually growing route network of the airlines serving Budapest. Currently, there are direct connections from Budapest to 153 destinations in 49 countries. Last year almost a third of the airport’s total passengers – almost 5.3 million – had to use the basic boarding gates.
The first phase of Budapest’s new boarding hall opened on Wednesday, with the second phase to be ready before the 2020 summer season. At that point the floor space serving the airlines will almost quadruple, from 3,000 to almost 11,500 square metres.
Pier 1 is a heated and air-conditioned single-storey building with an internal height of 5.2m. In total the hall will have eight pedestrian boarding gates – walk-on-walk-off gates – from which passengers will be able to access the aircraft directly, of which 5 are part of Pier 1. There will also be six bus gates.
The central hall will have spaces for passengers to relax and wait. There will be a food and drinks outlet, three large-capacity bathroom blocks and a smokers’ terrace.
To connect to Terminal 2A there will be a heated / air-conditioned corridor roughly 120m long connecting the main terminal building with the boarding hall via a connecting building.
The construction costs of the pier amount to around 8.3 billion HUF (25 million euros | 27 million USD). The bill is footed in full by Budapest Airport Zrt. Works began in July 2019 and continued throughout the summer months. The basic boarding gates will be discontinued on 17 January.
Phase 2, which should be ready in summer 2020, will add a further 3 standard gates to the 5 already in place with Pier 1. Phase 2 will also see the addition of the three bus gates.
The central lounge and commercial units are also part of Pier 2, as is the smoking terrace. Two of the three final washroom blocks will also come during phase 2.
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