“Taking into account the opinions and interests of Budapest residents, mayor István Tarlós (…) notified the organizers of the Red Bull Air Race that due to the unsuitability of the conditions the capital cannot give its consent to the event planned for this June,” the mayor’s office said in a statement.
It added that as an alternative location Tarlós suggested the Danube bend (some 50 kilometers north of Budapest) or one of the country’s larger lakes.
The Red Bull Air Race was first held in 2003 in two capitals of the world and – except for three gap years since – it has grown continuously and Budapest was on the event calendar every year. While the race was very popular due to the victories of Hungarian aerobatics pilot Péter Besenyei and attracted a large number of tourists, many residents complained about the excessive noise of the small propeller airplanes.
Tarlós’s decision was probably made with an eye on municipal elections due in Hungary later this year.