Israel Opens Airport in Negev as Alternative to Ben-Gurion

Ovda, a military airfield, has opened after the FAA and the European Aviation Safety Agency temporarily canceled all flights to Israel due to a Hamas rocket attack on Tuesday.

Haaretz is reporting:

Ben-Gurion flight cancellations

Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz announced on Wednesday that Israel would be opening the Ovda Airport as an alternative to Ben-Gurion Airport. In practical terms, this means that foreign airlines that wish to land there instead of at Ben-Gurion Airport will be able to do so. No airline that operates at Ben-Gurion Airport has given its approval or agreement to move its flights to Ovda Airport as yet.

A military airfield, Ovda Airport also serves civilian flights whose passengers are bound for Eilat. Although the airfield is open, if it is to be used for civilian purposes, more civilian flight controllers need to be added to the control tower, as well as emergency firefighting and rescue crews, which are required for civilian airports. These crews are usually brought in from Eilat in accordance with ongoing need.

Ovda Airport’s ability to take in civilian flights is limited, and it is usually not prepared for landings of wide-body aircraft. The new airport in Timna, which is to be opened in 2016, will replace both Ovda Airport and the airport in Eilat.

Starting today, Minister Katz will increase the staff at the airport on an ongoing basis for however long the airport should require Airports Authority personnel, and also increase the number of firefighting and rescue crews there.

According to the plan, passengers who land at Ovda will be taken to the center of the country by bus, though this matter has not been settled yet.

Rest here.



One thought on “Israel Opens Airport in Negev as Alternative to Ben-Gurion

  1. To quote Alan Dershowitz:
    “Whether the regulators and airlines that have stopped flights to and from Israel are right or wrong, this stoppage cannot possibly be tolerated by a democratic country that relies so heavily on tourism and international travel. It is of course a war crime [by Hamas terrorists] to target an international civilian airport.”
    This cause and effect should be appreciated by the entire world community.
    Dershowitz continues “Every country in the world would do everything in its power to keep open the airports, which are the lifelines to its economic viability. Even more importantly, Israel will now be more reluctant than ever to give up military control over the West Bank, which is even closer to Ben-Gurion Airport than is Gaza. The new reality caused by Hamas’ shutting down of international air travel to and from Israel would plainly justify an Israeli demand that it maintain military control over the West Bank.”
    What would be the correct proportional response to the closing of London (Heathrow) or any other major aviation hub to Canadian, French, German, Swiss and USA carriers. I say, Israel’s government should cut-off utilities to Gaza – that is proportionate.

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