Ben-Gurion Airport Opens New Runway, Reducing Traffic Over Tel Aviv

The new runway and renovations to existing ones will reduce the number of flights over Tel Aviv by 40 percent.

Zohar Blumenkrantz
Zohar Blumenkrantz
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An El Al airplane in flight.
An El Al airplane in flight.Credit: Archive
Zohar Blumenkrantz
Zohar Blumenkrantz

Ben-Gurion International Airport is opening a new runway on Thursday, which along with upgrades to existing runways will reduce the number of flights that land over Tel Aviv by 40 percent.

With the completion of the renovations, which cost about 1 billion shekels ($287 million), the airport will be operating with a new air-traffic configuration, which will mean fewer flights pass over Tel Aviv at the end of their descent.

The new runway was cleared for use after a court ruling rejected a request for a temporary restraining order by Kibbutz Be’erot Yitzhak and Moshav Mazor. The communities, located north of the airport, claim aircraft using the new runway will create a noise nuisance for them. Although their complaint will ultimately be heard, in refusing to issue a restraining order, the court sided with the Israel Airports Authority, which noted that doing so would result in the cancellation of flights that have already been scheduled.

The runway will be inaugurated by an El Al Israel Airlines airplane making its maiden flight to Israel on a new route between Tel Aviv and the Greek island of Rhodes.

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