Mega Airport Budapest
By Joe "Mutley" Lawford

An Airport For All Seasons

Budapest, one of the greatest historical cites of Europe, indeed the world has a long colourful past. The cities of Buda and Pest once existed separately on the opposite sides of the Danube but now stand proud as a unified city.

Budapest Ferihegy International Airport (IATA: BUD, ICAO: LHBP) is the only airport serving Budapest and is the gateway to Hungary. It can handle the B747 (most likely the A380 as well) and has connections to most European airports having recently seen a big increase in low cost airline flights.

Malév Hungarian Airlines is the main Hungarian airline and it has its home base at Ferihegy. The three main terminals (1, 2A, 2B) and the General Aviation Terminal will be joined by a new freight terminal soon. The Most striking building in the airport environs is the control tower, a large structure built up from ground level on two massive pillars, reminiscent of the tower at Boston Logan airport which coincidentally has a dedicated terminal to Delta airlines who are major carriers to Budapest.

Aircraft landing from the north fly low over the Kobánya district, the location of the largest cemetery in Europe. Weather seldom diverts aircraft. When this does happen, planes usually land at Bratislava or Vienna.

                       CLICK ON PICTURE FOR FULL SIZE VIEW

Now to the software!
This airport is available as a "two for one" download from Aerosoft for the single download price of €19.95. You get a fully featured FSX version (Reviewed here) and a FS9 version too, excellent value in my opinion. Mega Airport Budapest is their biggest FSX scenery release so far and it's not small. The download version comes in at a hefty 571Mb so make sure you only to opt for this if you have a good broadband connection. The software is also available on CD on for €25.99.


The airport can be reached in 20 minutes using the"Ferihegy High-Speed Road"

After a trouble free download and installation which includes the online product activation I read the included 86 page pdf manual, there's not much information about the airport's FSX features as this is left for you to discover.  The final 70+ pages is full of useful navigation information and charts for the airport and surrounding area.

The programming by Andras Kozma & Peter Orosz is top class, indeed Andras and Budapest go back a long way this is his 3rd or 4th offering, there is one of the greatest concentration of ground objects both animated and static you are likely to see at any airport.   Included is extended photoscenery of the complete city of Budapest (with high density mesh) so make sure you have Microsoft's photoscenery fix available from as well.

An overhead view the airport reminds you of the history of the city, 2 disjointed runways which look as though they could be for separate airports but are joined together by many taxiways extending the airports boundary two fold.

When starting the sim (with Projectopensky's 736 in Malév livery for realism) my first view of the scenery was from the cockpit. I was presented with a busy apron full of vehicles with many animated that was quite breathtaking.

The realism factor is very high, a lot of this realism is down to FSX light bloom capabilities which make the airport lighting look so good.  The obvious impact of light bloom on lower spec machines may slow the sim down enough to cause some people to switch the bloom off. The airport still looks great without it and the bump mapping and reflection effects are still apparent on some buildings.

Now to the terminals, T1, this terminal serves the low cost airlines, a fairly small apron with interesting features on the passenger terminal whose towers suffer from cheesy stone cladding nicely depicted though!


Terminal 1 with it's distinctive stone clad towers The airport maintains it's vibrancy at night

GAT, The general aviation terminal is just located on the left side of Terminal 1. It serves small and private planes, and also has a GA parking area and various outbuildings. There is quite a lot of GA activity going on, there is plenty of decent VFR to be had and completing circuits is great fun with the runway layout.

Terminal 2B. Although connected to Terminal 2A, it is referred to as a separate terminal, it serves all of the other international flights and airlines that are not served by Terminal 2A. Terminal 2 incorporates an open-air watching platform for relatives and plane spotters.

Terminal 2A was originally built exclusively for Malév Hungarian Airlines, and is the closest to runway 31R the longest runway at 3707 metres.  This terminal serves not only Malév, but its code-share airline partners as well.


Terminal 2A used mostly by Malév and code share airlines Terminal 2B with the tower in the background.

The apron of terminal 2 has the most ground clutter and animated vehicles.  A nice feature on the apron is the marked lanes the AI ground vehicles follow, even down to the give ways signs where aircraft cross.  The apron and taxiway textures are totally bespoke, the downside in my eyes is the FSX water reflection is lost in rainy weather and only becomes apparent once you are lined up on the runway.  If you just wander around the apron for a while with the sound up high you will be greeted with a lot of environmental sounds as the ground AI buzzes around carrying out their various tasks, a nice touch.

This airport's detail is not lost at night.  A whole new world evolves, the night lighting effect gives it the wow factor.  The cities have night textures and on approach you can get the feel of light pollution from the cities in the distance.  This detail was not lost on me, I paused the sim sat back and admired it for a while.



Approaching 13R from the city Approach lighting looks very good, plenty of activity on T1's apron

The photoscenery of Budapest city including the winter textures is very good too.  The ground colours are much better than the default FSX reminiscent of Ground Environment and best in summer in my opinion.  Much of the autogen in the city looks to be feature-less and a bit out of place with the default bridges looking  shoddy being half hidden and sunk.  But fear ye not! the team at Aerosoft have already produced a custom exclude file to remove them. 

The detail of the photoscenery and indeed the mighty Danube only goes to highlight some of the shortcomings of the default FSX scenery.  Here we can see the river in the supplied scenery abruptly coming to a halt when the MS scenery kicks in.  Not Aerosoft's fault but a bit disturbing! The river is very distinctive and is a great aid if flying VFR.


Included photoscenery of Budapest The Danube, beautifully rendered but comes to an abrupt stop.

The world of FSX is understandably obsessed out frame rates and Aerosoft are no different.  There is a handy section in the manual which gives a few tips and tweaks (FIBER_FRAME_TIME_FRACTION, PoolSize and SmallPartRejectRadius etc) that "newbies" may not be aware of. Having said that I found the simulation to be smooth flowing although I do have a reasonably decent set up. (See below for specs) As an idea with the default A320, I set my display to "Medium high" and in the air was getting 21 -30 FPS however, when approaching the airport this reduced to an average of 16 and once hit 10! but the motion was still smooth.  This is of course only on my machine you may already have yours set up better then mine.

Known issues, the Aerosoft support forum is encouragingly void of serious issues. The main gripe, which I agree with is the auto docking [CTRL] + J does not work as it does with the default scenery, Aerosoft advised the correct SDK has not yet been delivered for that section.  There are parking aids though that not only tell you when to stop but also give you left-right nose alignment too.

In summary is this airport worth getting?  A resounding yes from me.  It is an important, up and coming  European airport that is set to dramatically increase it's capacity in the future so deserves to be given the "Mega Airport" treatment.

Must have additions: Every airport must have airlines so your favourite traffic program would be a perfect partner.  Active Sky 6.5 (With FSX update)


Mutley's slide show, click on the images for a full size view.

Ferihegy High-Speed Road
Terminal 2A
Terminal 2B
The Control Tower
General Aviation Area
Terminal 1
Clutter on the apron
The Danube
Overhead the city
A320 passing the "AI lane
Static aircraft
Terminal 1 by day
Terminal 1 at dusk
Reflection off the spotters deck
Apron lighting with bloom
Vultures circle the apron!
Approach from the city
Threshold lighting clearly seen
T2 and the tower in the distance
Nose in guidance at the stands
My review machine specs: Budapest Links:
Self build:
MSI Intel 975X PCI Express Motherboard
Intel E6600 2.4 GHz Core 2 Duo
4x 512Mb DDR2 667Mhz PC5400
Nvidia 7900GTX 512Mb DDR3 PCI-E
Windows XP Pro SP2
FSX with Photoscenery Fix
Aerosoft product page
Aerosoft forums
Budapest Airport web


  Mutley says.. . . .

I hope you enjoyed this review, if you have any comments contact me here


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