site.btaSome 40 Small Aircraft Land at Balchik Airport to Celebrate Bulgaria's, Romania's Accession to Schengen by Air

Some 40 Small Aircraft Land at Balchik Airport to Celebrate Bulgaria's, Romania's Accession to Schengen by Air
Some 40 Small Aircraft Land at Balchik Airport to Celebrate Bulgaria's, Romania's Accession to Schengen by Air
BTA Photo

Nearly 40 small air planes landed at Balchik Airprt on Saturday. In this way, Romanian and Bulgarian pilots of small aircraft officially celebrated the entry of the two countries into the Schengen area by air. The event, titled Schengen Check, will be repeated on 27 April, when it will be hosted by Romania's Tuzla Airport.

Ianko Stoimenov, member of the Board of the Bulgarian Pilots and Aircraft Owners Association, pointed out that a common dream of Bulgarian and Romanian pilots is coming true - to fly freely, without borders in Europe. According to him, this is just the beginning and the benefits of the two countries' accession to Schengen are yet to be felt. The President of the Romanian pilots' organisation Andrei Zincenco added that finally Bulgarians and Romanians can feel like worthy residents of the European space, recalling that the two countries are yet to be accepted by land.

Bulgaria's accession to the Schengen area gives the Balchik Airport a chance at development, Ivan Dimitriev, CEO of Sofia Airport, which has been managing the seaside airport since 2016, told BTA Saturday. 

Dimitriev hosted the Schengen Check event, with which Romanian and Bulgarian pilots of small aircraft symbolically celebrated the accession of the two countries to the border free area. Romania's Tuzla Airport will host a reciprocal event on 27 April. 

Never have so many planes landed in Balchik in one day, Dimitriev said. According to him, instead of the originally planned 20 aircraft, nearly 40 are expected to arrive. Balchik Airport's location is phenomenal, close to tourist resorts and sites, to golf courses, Dimitriev added. He said the Airport can accommodate aircraft of up to 5,700 kilograms take-off weight, also known as small aviation. Helicopters are allowed to be heavier.

The Airport has been used as a military and civilian facility since 1996, Dimitriev recalled. He stressed that the military has priority when performing tasks and all amateur pilots comply with this.

The airport needs investments not so much in the flying field but in the adjacent infrastructure, Dimitriev added. In his words, modern hangars are needed to shelter the aircraft, as the current one was built in the 1940s. The runway should also be of a new type, although there are no problems with it at the moment, Dimitriev added. 

The CEO of the Albena seaside resort, Krasimir Stanev, said that the Airport in Balchik is a state asset and must be developed while maintaining its dual purpose. As a civilian airport it can be used for business flights, all forms of small aviation, pilot training, gliding, parachuting, Stanev said. He stressed that air sports are gaining popularity and the airport offers excellent conditions for them as it is in a sunny area and outside the heavy traffic of Central and Western Europe. In addition, there is wonderful infrastructure nearby - from the Romanian border to Golden Sands there are at least 200 hotels, a marina, three golf courses, many historical and cultural sites, Stanev said.

Ianko Stoimenov of the Bulgarian Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association added that currently the Airport in Balchik has an opportunity to turn from a barely surviving airport into a frequented general aviation airport and things will change dramatically. "Today is just the beginning," Stoimenov added and stressed that this is happening thanks to the good political will on both sides of the Danube. He also said that since Bulgaria's Schengen accession, he has flown to countries in this area by air and water. Things are much easier and better, even if it's just for our self-confidence, Stoimenov concluded.

The event was organized jointly by the managements of the Balchik Airport and Tuzla Airport in Romania, and is aimed at pilots of small planes. The aim is to demonstrate the simplified procedure for accepting international flights, as well as to strengthen relations between representatives of the aviation community from the two countries. 









By 23:17 on 19.06.2024 Today`s news

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