BUDAPEST | The Red Bull Air Race faces a possible crisis after the Mayor of Budapest said he would not allow the event to be held in his city this year.
The Hungarian capital is scheduled to host the fourth stop of the season on the 13th-14th July, according to the sport’s official calendar, which was released last week.
Budapest has hosted the air race in almost every year of the championship has been held; from 2003 to 2010 and from 2015 to 2018, missing only the race in 2014. The venue is particularly well-loved by fans, who enjoy watching the aircraft fly over the River Danube, in front of the Hungarian Parliament and under the Chain Bridge.
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However, the city’s Mayor, István Tarlós, has long called for the event to be banned from the city, citing noise complaints and disruption to the daily lives of local people.
Mr Tarlós released a statement today saying that he has not given permission for the event to land in Budapest this year. He said that he has informed the event organisers that the city will refuse to issue the licenses they need to stage the race.
The Mayor’s move was also backed by Zsolt Láng, Mayor of District II of Budapest.
Mr Tarlós suggested the organisers consider staging the race on the River Danube further out of town or over one of Hungary’s many lakes. However, many of these venues may lack the infrastructure required to host the competition, and significant funding is also required from local authorities.
The Red Bull Air Race 2019 season kicks off in Abu Dhabi this week.