Jordan Complains to International Aviation Body Over New Israeli Airport

Jordan concerned with location and name of new airport north of Eilat; International Civil Aviation Organization is reportedly investigating the complaint.

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The International Civil Aviation Organization is investigating a complaint filed by Jordan against Israel over the construction of a new airport at Timna, north of Eilat, Jordanian Transportation Minister Lina Shabib announced over the weekend.

According to a report in Jordanian newspaper al-Ad, the Jordanian Transportation Ministry, in conjunction with Jordan's foreign minister, approached the international organization after Israel ignored Jordanian opposition to the project, and continued with work on the new airport.

According to Shabib, opposition to the airport at Timna stems from its location and the fact that it shares a name with another airport in Aqaba, Jordan. This, the Jordanians charge, is likely to cause communication problems with planes leaving and arriving. 

“We are pushing for an expedited response to our complaint because we are concerned for our flights, in order to prevent any disruptions to flight schedule and to protect Jordanian air space,” said Shabib. 

Jordanian opposition to the airport at Timna is not new, and has come up since construction began more than two years ago. It did not seem, however, that the conflict of interests would lead to a diplomatic scuffle between the two nations. Generally, conflicts of this nature are solved in direct talks between two governments. 

The airport in Aqaba is considered to be relatively small, with low air traffic.