One month after Transportation Minister Shaul Mofaz announced a committee would be set up to examine the safety of Israel's air space, which would be headed by former Israel Air Force commander Major General (Res.) Amos Lapidot, no committee has been established. In fact, the letter appointing the chair has not been prepared, no committee members named nor the area of the panel's authority established.
It is still unclear whether Lapidot will head the panel, since he has set several conditions for his agreeing to serve as chair.
Mofaz decided to establish the committee after the investigation of a February 8 incident involving a near mid-air collision over Ben-Gurion International Airport between an El Al plane and an Iberian Airlines plane. The report on the near miss pointed up grave safety issues, and it recommended a long list of steps to rectify air space safety around Ben-Gurion Airport.
The transportation minister's decision was met with criticism from aviation experts, who called the committee superfluous, since it is already clear what needs to be done to address what they described as grave safety concerns in Israeli air space. Experts also questioned whether Lapidot's recommendations would, in the end, be ignored, as were those in a 1991 report that addressed air safety.
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