The Boeing C-17 long-range cargo jets will be used for airlift purposes which could be engaged for national purposes or allocated for NATO, UN, EU or other international operations, such as delivering humanitarian aid or providing disaster relief. They will carry soldiers and military equipment.
Hungarian Defense Minister Imre Szekeres said Hungary would be granted an annual 50 hours of their flight time, and the country would contribute a proportionate 1.5-2 billion forints (EUR 6.4-8.6m) to the cost of maintenance. The Minister referred to the benefits of the scheme, saying that the central budget would only pay 2 percent of the total cost, whereas all the Hungarian military's transportation needs would be met. He also emphasized that the C-17s stay in Hungary will create 300 to 400 jobs for Hungarian civilians.
The audience of the air show seemed to be impressed by the 53-metre-long air carrier: its soft sound and majestic maneuvers elicited cheers and applause.
The picture is taken by Mate Hegedus
Pápa set to become NATO airport facility
November 19, 2007
“Pápa in west Hungary will become a NATO base airport, ahead of Ramstein airbase in Germany and Konstanta in Romania,” Hungarian Defence Minister Imre Szekeres announced on Saturday.
A NATO working team, preparing the procurement and operation of C-17 planes for a strategic airborne fleet, made the decision on Friday. The fleet comprising four C-17 transport planes will be deployed in 2009.
A NATO consortium is expected to fund the $30 million development cost. The airport will play a role in transporting logistics materials and provisions to crews serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Approximately 200 foreigners will move to Pápa with their families in order to work at the airbase and most of them will come from the US as the C-17 pilots are all Americans.
NATO C-17 air base in Pápa?
September 5, 2007
A decision is expected in October on whether four NATO C-17 giant transport planes will be based in Hungary at the Pápa airfield. A 90-member commission of experts from the countries funding the transport planes visited the air-field last week and found that it met all re-quirements. Another potential site is the US air base in Ramstein, Germany.
Hungarian Defence Minister Imre Szekeres suggested at a meeting of NATO defence ministers in June that Pápa could host the C-17s. Since then foreign experts have visited the airfield three times and examined the local education system, health care, recreation and accommodation facilities.