The first passenger aircraft landed at the airport on the outskirts of the village of Remetea (Gyergyóremete) in the northern part of Harghita County (Hargita). The first test flight on the Budapest – Gyergyóremete route was performed by an Embraer 120ER aircraft of the regional airline Aeroexpress Regional, Székelyhon reports.
After years of hard work, the investment intended to boost the economy of Szeklerland and increase the region’s bonding capacity is starting to bear fruit, Tihamér Barti, said vice president of the Harghita County Council after the plane landed. Elemér Laczkó-Albert, Mayor of Gyergyóremete, said he initially had doubts that the project could be realized, but it will eventually go beyond the boundaries of the municipality and even the county.
The private investment is connected to Attila Balázs, an entrepreneur from Gyergyóremete, and the Bayer Construct group of companies he heads.
Balázs said that this was the first test flight required for the permit to be issued. The project is halfway complete; the hangars and passenger terminal still need to be built and permits obtained, but the hope is that regular flight operations will begin within a year.
The aircraft, with the Hungarian flag on its tail, was flown by Zoltán Ármai, who said it was a special moment for him as well, as it is rare for a pilot to be the first to leave his mark on the runway of a new airport with the wheels of his aircraft. Dániel Somogyi Tóth, vice president of the airline, explained that they have been working for many years to create a connection between Hungary and Transylvania, which is difficult to do by car or train. Not so by air, following the example of Finland, which also uses this mode of transportation to fly to hard-to-reach areas and communities.
The plan is to have at least one flight a day just to transport the employees of the group, which invests heavily in agriculture and tourism.
The intended goal is to handle a total of 10 to 15,000 passengers per year. The Budapest – Gyergyóremete route takes 15 hours by bus; however, even if you arrive via Cluj-Napoca (Kolozsvár), Arad, or Târgu Mureș (Marosvásárhely) (because of the still existing Schengen controls), the time is reduced to one and a half hours by plane, says Balázs.
The official code for the airport in Gyergyóremete will be LRHR, which stands for LR (Romania’s air traffic code) and the name of Harghita County.
Via Ungarn Heute. Featured image: Facebook/Gal Fried