Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Levente Magyar said at the press event that the ownership change will provide a basis for Debrecen’s development and enable the city to further improve by the end of the decade.
A few weeks ago, the government decided to acquire a 51 percent stake in the company that operates Debrecen International Airport. If the city’s assembly votes in favor of this at the end of January, it will come into force in February.
The deputy ministers said that Debrecen plays an important role in the country’s economy, with billions of euros worth of investments already underway by various companies, and similar sums are in the pipeline. Debrecen will hardly have any competitors in the race to be a regional center in the coming years, he added.
Mayor of Debrecen László Papp stressed that the government approved a development strategy in February 2020, known as the Debrecen 2030 program, which includes the development of Debrecen International Airport and a new type of alliance with the government.
The mayor pointed out that they would like to strengthen the airport’s regional role and its ambition to become the busiest airport in the region, with the highest traffic and highest service standards. Scheduled flights were launched in 2012, with annual passenger numbers rising to over 370,000 in 2018 and more than 600,000 in 2019, he said.
According to the mayor, the government has also provided significant support in recent years, noting that the airport as a property and the facilities it houses will remain 100 percent owned by the Municipality of Debrecen.
If the infrastructure improvements set out are successfully implemented, Debrecen could become an airport with a passenger volume of 2–3 million by 2030, László Papp added.
According to the mayor, they are entering into an alliance with the Hungarian government to implement the development strategy, and they will transfer the 51 percent stake owned by the city free of charge.