New year, new chapter: new boarding hall opens
A new chapter begins in the life of Budapest Airport from 2020. The first phase of a new, 11 500 square meter facility serving passengers and providing the same level of comfort as the terminals has opened on 15 January. The modern Pier 1 – fully completed by the summer of 2020 - replacing the earlier basic boarding gates, is the first step in the cooperation between Budapest Airport and the Hungarian government, and also in the long-term development of the airport.
Budapest Ferenc Liszt International Airport is not only a strategic facility of key importance for the country and the fastest developing airport in the region, but also the gateway to Hungary. In 2018, 15 million passengers used the airport, which means a nearly 13.5 percent increase from the previous year. In 2019, passenger traffic surpassed 16 million. Nearly 122 000 aircraft movements, i.e. landings and takeoffs occur each year. In the background of this expansion are, firstly, the growing popularity of Budapest, the touristic, economic, sporting and cultural buzz of the city, and, secondly, the ever-expanding route network of the airlines serving Budapest. A total of 153 destinations in 49 countries are accessible from Budapest directly by air. Nearly 5,3 million people, i.e. 1/3 of passengers passed through the basic boarding gates last year.
The first phase of the boarding hall, called Pier 1, opened on 15 January, and the construction of the second phase will be completed ahead of the 2020 summer season. With the new facility, the floor space serving the airlines will be nearly quadrupled, increasing from 3000 square meters to nearly 11 500 square meters. Pier 1 is a heated and air-conditioned, single-story building with an internal height of 5.2 meters. The hall will have 8 pedestrian boarding gates (so-called walk-on-walk-off gates), which will be directly connected to the aircraft stands, i.e. passengers will be able to access the aircraft directly from the building. In addition, the hall will also have 6 bus gates.
The central hall will feature resting and waiting areas, with a food and beverage outlet, 3 large capacity bathroom blocks and a smokers’ terrace also available to serve the convenience of passengers. The connection to Terminal 2A will be implemented in such a way that passengers will not leave the comfort of the building for a single moment after check-in; they will reach the approximately 120 meter long, spacious, heated/air conditioned corridor leading from the main terminal building to the boarding hall via a connecting building equipped with escalators and elevators.
The construction of the pier costs approximately 8.3 billion HUF (25 million EUR), which is financed entirely by Budapest Airport Zrt. Execution works commenced in July 2019, and, in the interest of the earliest possible completion, continued throughout the summer peak season, without disturbing the regular, daily traffic of the airport. According to plan Budapest Airport will discontinue the operation of the current basic boarding gates on 17 January; from then on, passengers will board their aircraft from the new facility, or, rather, from its completed sections.
The new boarding hall was constructed by Market Építő Zrt., based on the plans of Lean Tech Engineering Ltd., supervised by HunGal Kft. The building structure was manufactured and supplied by Neptunus Ltd., and the DVM Group was responsible for interior design.
Phases of commissioning
Phase 1, commissioning and start of operation: 15-17. January
- Northwest wing of Pier 1
o 5 boarding gates + 1 temporary boarding gate, preboarding zones, approx. 40% of the final facility
o 1st phase with many temporary solutions (e.g. temporary corridors, ramps, etc.) without commercial units
o 1 large capacity washroom block, including accessible washroom
o temporary solutions will remain in place until Phase 2 is opened
Phase 2, planned commissioning and start of operation: Summer 2020
- Pier 1 southeast wing
o 3 standard gates + 6 bus boarding gates, preboarding zones (thus a total of 8 standard boarding gates with direct connection to the aircraft stand and 6 bus boarding gates)
- Central lounge, commercial units
- Additional two high capacity washroom blocks, including accessible (total 3)
- Chilled and heated connection corridor and staircase connecting the Terminal 2
- Smoking terrace
- Pier area of 11 500 square meters in total