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February 28, 2021

Current and former Timisoara Airport managers locked in row

Timisoara Airport’s former and current managers are locked in a row, accusing each other of hiding irregularities and forging documents, actions that have allegedly put the lives of passengers at risk. Timisoara’s ‘Traian Vuia’ Airport has been certified as an international airport early this month, with that being a condition for it to operate regular flights to non-Schengen states.

The airport’s former managers accuse Democrat-Liberal Cornel Samartinean, the airport’s current manager, of replacing several professional employees with non-professionals hired on the basis of political criteria, actions that have thus endanger the lives of passengers. According to ‘Jurnalul National’ daily, a relevant example is that of Valeriu Lupu, former Banat Air manager, whom the airport’s new leadership reactivated after 15 years of inactivity following the air tragedy that took place on Verona airport in 1995, a tragedy that left 50 people dead and for which Lupu was found guilty. Another example is that of Dan Alexa, a former police officer fired for favouring the criminal in cases of human trafficking and car theft and now head of air traffic control. ‘Jurnalul National’ states that the Romanian Civil Aeronautics Authority took note of these inappropriate replacements however the case was hushed up at the Ministry of Transport.

On the other hand, ‘Romania Libera’ wrote that Samartinean accuses Dan Idolu, the airport’s former general manager, and Marian Chivu, the airport’s former operational manager, of keeping under wraps two technical audits that pointed out irregularities in the airport’s infrastructure. The former managers are accused of modifying some parameters in order to improve on paper the runway’s structural resistance. Samartinean announced that he will notify the prosecutors, arguing that the lives of millions of passengers that landed there have been put at risk.

The article gives a 2008 incident as an example. Back then a Wizzair plane ran into a runway section that had no asphalt and damaged its landing gear. However the incident was hushed up and ended with a not quite transparent agreement that the airline reached with the airport’s former leadership.

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