The new airport, to be located at Ramat David, was chosen because it had an infrastructure already in place to support a large new airport.
The government recently approved plans to construct a new international airport in northern Israel, ending a 15-year-long search for a complementary airport to Ben-Gurion International Airport, which is already nearing operational capacity.
The new airport will be located in Ramat David in the Galilee and will be the second largest airport in the country. It is planned to become operational in 2019.
Ramat David is already an operational Israeli Air Force base. The site was chosen over Nevatim air base near Beersheba, Ein Shemer near Hadera, and constructing an artificial island for a new airport. The Transportation Ministry held meetings with the Defense Ministry and Civil Aviation Authority to determine the location, and only after reaching an agreement with the former and approval from the Israeli Air Force were recommendations made to the government.
During government discussions, Ramat David was also recommended because it had the best infrastructure already in place to support a new airport.
Ben-Gurion airport can handle 16 million travelers per year and is approaching its limit. In 2015 it is already expected to reach 15 million travelers. The Galilee airport will service all the travelers that Ben-Gurion airport will be unable to accommodate.
Transportation and Safety Minister Yisrael Katz pushed to have the decision on the new airport included in the 2015 state budget.
“Building an airport in Ramat David will put the Galilee on the map,” Katz said. “It will improve the area, provide work to thousands and boost the economy in the Galilee during and after construction. Every location that has an airport sees economic improvements in the entire area.”
The transportation minister called for expediting construction, which will take four to five years, and says he plans on personally accompanying the project. The airport will be built using the Build-Operate-Transfer system, like Israel’s Highway 6, in which a private company will bid for the rights to construct the airport, operate it, and then within 25 to 30 years return it to the state.
Constructing an airport in Ramat David will lead to an optimal spread of airports in Israel, the Transportation Ministry says, with Ramon International Airport in the south, Ben-Gurion airport in central Israel and Ramat David in the north.
The ministry plans on constructing new and modern transportation routes to the new airport.
View original Israel Hayom publication at: http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_article.php?id=20647