Israel to Cut Number of Night Landings at Ben-Gurion Airport

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Ben-Gurion International AirportCredit: Airports Authority

The Civil Aviation Authority is reducing the number of flights over Tel Aviv and spreading out night landings in an attempt to address complaints about noise, sources have told TheMarker.

Night landings can’t be scrapped altogether; that would shrink the number of overall flights to Israel and cut into foreign-tourist arrivals. Still, the aim is for nighttime arrivals on Runway 12 to be reduced to 37 per night, with the maximum at 50 per night.

Planes landing on that strip descend over Tel Aviv at an altitude between 1,400 feet (427 meters) and 2,200 feet.

In the first half of 2014, the average number of night landings on Runway 12 was 60 per night; on Thursdays it rose to 71. Other flights will be diverted to other runways, including Runway 21, using other landing patterns.

Landings on Runway 21 bring planes in particularly low — at between 700 feet and 450 feet — over two agricultural communities: Moshav Mazor and Kibbutz Be’erot Yitzhak due east of Tel Aviv. Nevertheless, the new plan calls for landings on Runway 21 at a later hour — until 11 P.M. instead of 10 P.M.

Planes coming in on a third runway, Runway 30, will land until 1 A.M. Since that takes planes over the city of Modi’in southeast of the airport, few landings on that strip will be allowed between 11 P.M. and 1 A.M. starting in the summer next year.

Ben-Gurion International Airport, near the town of Lod, is 12 miles (19 kilometers) southeast of Tel Aviv, less than half the distance to Jerusalem. It got its start in 1936 as a British military airport under the British Mandate that ended when Israel was founded in 1948.

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