July 6, 2022
Henri Coandă International Airport: a Romanian Beacon of Hope
Airports Featured Interview

Henri Coandă International Airport: a Romanian Beacon of Hope

A dedicated group of volunteers including Viorel Savva (far right) and Brandon Patterson (second from right) provide Ukrainian refugees with travel assistance and interpretation services 24/7 at Henri Coandă International Airport. Photo: Brent Foster / Airways Special thanks to local photographer Radu Popovici for providing photos of aircraft operating repatriation flights. Follow Radu on Instagram @radp13.

DALLAS – The Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 forced airports across Eastern Europe to adapt to accommodate refugees fleeing war. Perhaps no airport better exemplifies such adaptation than Henri Coandă International Airport (OTP).

Located just outside of the Romanian capital of Bucharest, OTP is both the largest and busiest airport in the country and soon became a focal point for refugees and evacuees of all nationalities fleeing Ukraine.

In an exclusive interview with Airways, George Dorobanţu, CEO of the Bucharest Airports National Company (BANC), described how the airport accommodated a surge of refugees and repatriation flights without jeopardizing the efficiency of regularly scheduled passenger operations.

George Dorobanţu, the CEO of the BANC, sat down for an in-depth discussion with Airways. Photo: Valentin Iordache/BANC

Repatriation Flights to India and Beyond


Many of the evacuees who arrived in Romania and ultimately reached OTP were not Ukrainian and needed repatriation to their home countries, countries that ranged all the way from Nigeria to India and China.

Dorobanţu said the airport coordinated repatriation flights with “requests received through the embassies” focused on “transferring refugees or their own people from Ukraine.”


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Featured image: A dedicated group of volunteers including Viorel Savva (far right) and Brandon Patterson (second from right) provide Ukrainian refugees with travel assistance and interpretation services 24/7 at Henri Coandă International Airport.
Photo: Brent Foster/Airways

Special thanks to local photographer Radu Popovici for providing photos of aircraft operating repatriation flights. Follow Radu on Instagram @radp13.

author
Aviation journalist and Daily Caller contributor who counts playing and teaching golf among his many hobbies. Contact: brent@airwaysmag.com

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