Henri Coanda Airport
Monday, January 18, 12:00 pm
Good after noon everybody. Air Force Chief of Staff Pana, Director Tudor, Director Dimitrescu, other distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, friends.
My special thanks to the Director of the Romanian Civil Aeronautical Authority, Armand Petrescu. Armand, you have worked hard to support the modernization of the civil air sector in Romania and been a good friend to the United States. In our work together, and with your collaboration with the American FAA, you are doing your utmost to serve your country while at the same time strengthen the bilateral relationship. Thank you very much, Armand.
I am delighted to be with you here today as you officially welcome into service this new Beechcraft 350 Super King aircraft. Although she appears small compared to the large jumbo jets we are used to seeing here at Henri Coanda, this small aircraft contains the latest in American technology. Her mission, to calibrate the myriad of systems used in modern air navigation, is perhaps the most critical of any when it comes to providing us the security we so often take for granted as we fly around Romania and the world.
As I mentioned, the aircraft has the latest technology from the United States. Beechcraft, now a division of Textron Aviation, was founded in Wichita, Kansas in 1932, and since that time has been known throughout the United States and the world for its high-quality small aircraft.
Pratt & Whitney, based in East Hartford, Connecticut and who manufactured the engines, has provided the means of propulsion for everything from small turboprop planes to the Space Shuttle.
The most impressive and most important component, however, is the avionics, the key to its mission. Produced by Rockwell-Collins, based in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, the state-of-the-art equipment will be used to ensure that pilots of all aircraft flying in Romanian air space can be assured their passengers and cargo are safe as they land, take off and travel.
Romania is one of only a few countries in the region that own and operate such a plane. When this plane took its maiden flight in Romania last year, then-Minister Bode oversaw Romania’s transportation systems. He and his team were instrumental in starting the modernizing of Romania’s infrastructure. Minister Bode laid the groundwork for and commenced many infrastructure projects, most recently the Via Carpathia and the Constanta-to-Gdansk rail system. I am certain Minister Drula and his team, who have been working seamlessly with the prior team, and the other Government ministries, will see these projects to fruition expeditiously. The efforts of the new government, a rich coalition of political parties, will serve Romania well. Romania is poised to be a leader in the region, Europe and the world. Romania is becoming the new gateway to Eastern Europe and beyond. The new and very effective governing coalition led by Prime Minister Citu has already started to create economic opportunity and stability for the Romanian people. This will lead to a future which will make Romania a shining example for the rest of Europe.
As the United States and Romania work closer on projects from small but critical airplanes such as this, to the Cernavoda nuclear power plant, from the fight against trans-national crime and trafficking in persons to the latest military systems to ensure territorial integrity, it has been my mission as the United States Ambassador to Romanian to strength the ties between our countries. Our shared values of democracy, fair play, free enterprise and the value of entrepreneurship and small businesses make us natural partners and friends.
Our bilateral relationship has never been better. I am confident that it will continue to grow and thrive. You have all heard me say this many times before, but it is so important to our relationship that I am always proud to say it again: Romanian has no better friend than the United States and the United States has no better friend than Romania.
Thank you, and God bless you.