President, PM test ride Bucharest’s train connection to the airport but opening date still unknown
The new railway line connecting Bucharest’s largest train station Gara de Nord to the Henri Coanda International Airport in Otopeni is essential for the future development of the airport, president Klaus Iohannis said.
Alongside prime minister Ludovic Orban and transport minister Lucian Bode, the president did a trial ride on the new railway line on Monday, September 21.
“We want to develop the international airport, but for this one needs to be able to get to the airport in very good conditions, in predictable conditions, and for this the connection between Gara de Nord and the airport is essential,” Iohannis said.
Speaking after the trial ride, Iohannis said the country needed transport infrastructure for a “sustainable, strong economic development.”
“For this transport infrastructure, we have a huge opportunity, in the years to come, to be able to use the EU funds at our disposal. We need to acknowledge that we had EU funding before, but very little political will. If we think that, from 2016 to 2019, only 11% of this line was done, and, since the Liberal Government took over the rest was done, the line is almost done, we can grasp the political will and power,” the president said.
Last week, railway infrastructure company CFR Infrastructura announced the railway link between Gara de Nord and Otopeni Airport was 97% completed. This railway connection was one of the requirements Bucharest had to meet to host EURO 2020 matches.
An opening date for the railway has not yet been announced. Transport minister Lucian Bode said last week it could become operational on December 12.
This is the president's third public appearance on the site of a major infrastructure project in the last week. Last week, he inaugurated the new M5 subway line in Bucharest and an 18-km segment of the Transylvania highway. These openings come just before the local elections, which will take place on September 27.