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May 16, 2021

Ion Tiriac says his Otopeni-based projects ‘derailed’ by Transport Ministry’s decision to build railway to airport

Former tennis player and business heavyweight Ion Tiriac claims that plans of the Transport Ministry to build a railway connecting the Bucharest North Railway Station to the ‘Henri Coanda’ Airport in view of the EURO 2020 football matches to be organised in Bucharest obstruct his development projects in Otopeni.

The businessman owns several tens of hectares of land in the Otopeni Airport area, where he built an ice rink and also intends to erect a campus for a private non-profit university.

“The completely out-of-touch decision of the Ministry of Transport to build a railway linking the North Railway Station to the ‘Henri Coanda’ International Airport will force the ‘Ion Tiriac’ Foundation to abandon two major non-profit projects of national interest located in Otopeni,” Tiriac said on Monday in a release titled “The heedless decision of the Ministry of Transport compromises Ion Tiriac Foundation’s public interest projects”.

The first project is the Tiriac – Telekom Arena in Otopeni, developed by the ‘Ion Tiriac’ Foundation and opened in 2016 following an investment of more than 3.6 million euro, the only ice rink in the Bucharest-Ilfov area developed according to the latest international Olympic standards and in accordance with the guidelines of the International Hockey Federation. Its main purpose is to encourage the practice of sport among children and youth and to support the sports teams in achieving top performance in the field.

The second project is an initiative already in an advanced stage, designed to create a private non-profit university in Otopeni, to provide education in line with the highest international standards in business, IT and sports for students from Romania and Central and Eastern Europe. The total investment is estimated at around 300 million euro, with more than 1,000 new jobs expected to be created. According to the plans, the university campus spreads on over 40 hectares, and features, among others, the following facilities: state-of-the-art education halls, Olympic swimming pool, athletics track, multipurpose 3,500-seat hall, football, basketball, volleyball and tennis courts.

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