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    STUDIA GEOGRAPHIA - Issue no. 1 / 2004  

Authors:  GRIGOR P. POP.
  Abstract:  Infrastructure and Aerian Transports in Romanian North Western Region of Development. Through those four airports (Cluj-Napoca, Oradea, Satu Mare and Baia Mare), it serves the territory of six counties within the region (Cluj, Bihor, Satu Mare, Sălaj, Maramureş and Bistriţa-Năsăud), where a population of almost 2,75 mil. inhabitants lives on a surface of 34 159 km2. In relation with the factors of determination, the aerial infrastructure of the region has developed gradually, during the whole period of the first half of 20th century, having, however, only grassy runways, relatively modest aerostations and airships, with a reduced capacity for passengers’ trans¬port, the first among them having around 10 places. The first flights for the passengers’ transport took place in the 4th decade of the 20th century, first of all at Cluj (1932) and then at Oradea and Satu Mare (1938). The beginning of the 7th decade of the 20th century was characterized by an accented phase of infrastructure’s modernizing and of aerial transport within the region: the changing of the grassy runaways in ones made of concrete, with a length of 1 800 m at Oradea and Baia Mare, 1 850 m at Cluj-Napoca and 2 500 at Satu Mare, building new aerostations, the airports’ endowment with the necessary equipments and services, in order to ensure an air transportation in modern and permanent improving conditions, at which could be added the corresponding airships for that phase of development. The action of development and modernizing under all aspects of the region’s airports continued after the year 1990, nowadays these being able to process around 300 passengers/ hour for the inner and external air transportation. In the year 2002, under the conditions in which a large opening of the external aerial circulation was reached at, that was followed by the dimensioning of the inner one, in accordance with the possibilities offered by the market economy, the airports from the region, on the basis of the total number of passengers (without transit) hold places 3 (Cluj-Napoca, after Otopeni and Timişoara), 6 (Oradea), 14 (Baia Mare) and 15 (Satu Mare), from the 17 classified national airports (fig. 1). The main companies, which serve the passengers’ transport, are TAROM and CARPATAIR, the first one operating with airships ATR 42-500 and BOEING 737 and the second only from Cluj-Napoca and Oradea airports, with SAAB 340 and SAAB 2000. All those four airports have connections with the country’s capital, achieved by TAROM Company, while the aerial units from Cluj-Napoca and Oradea perform direct international flights or through the hub Timişoara to Budapesta, Viena and at more airports from Italia (Roma, Verona, Bergamo, Treviso etc) and Germania (Frankfurt am Main, Stuttgart, München).  
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