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Serious safety problems could lead to an aviation accident in the skies over Ben-Gurion Airport, a visiting team of experts from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has determined. The preliminary findings of the three-person FAA delegation were presented to Transportation Minister Shaul Mofaz late last week.

The main problem that the FAA identified was a lack of coordination and cooperation between civilian aviation bodies and the Air Force, as well as between the various civilian agencies, and in particular the Civil Aviation Authority and the Israel Airports Authority (IAA).

The experts called on Israel to adopt a new plan to improve aviation safety and to appoint a special manger to lead the process. Currently, responsibility for air safety is spread among several agencies.

The main problems found were inadequate infrastructure, inadequate air space for civilian flights due to Air Force restrictions, a lack of technological means to improve safety at Ben-Gurion and inadequate training for air traffic controllers.

IAA Chairman Ovadia Eli said that the new acting head of the IAA, Shmuel Kandel, will present a preliminary plan for improving safety by the eve of the coming Sukkot holiday this week.