Forum: Less Airwave Interference at Airport

While the number of unlicensed radio stations operating out of the West Bank significantly increased in 2008, the number of unlicensed stations in Israel diminished - resulting in less flight communication interference at Ben-Gurion International Airport, Transportation Minister Shaul Mofaz learned over the weekend.

Mofaz attended the Forum for Flight Safety on Thursday in Jerusalem. The conference prompted officials to set up a separate discussion on ways to combat airwaves violations.

"Pirate radio broadcasts are a form of aerial terrorism, and need be dealt with appropriately," Mofaz said.

The data also showed that during the first half of 2008, police received only two complaints against unlicensed radio station operators, compared to 50 such complaints in the first half of 2007.

This year, the authorities shut down 29 pirate radio stations whose broadcasts interfered with communications at Ben Gurion, compared to 103 stations, which police raided in the first half of 2007.

Last year, Mofaz put together a ministerial team entrusted with formulating a plan to put an end to airwave interferences, which pilots and flight experts say pose a serious and constant risk to planes taking off and landing at Ben Gurion.