Tourist Tip #213 / Sde Dov Airport

This small airport nestled between high-rises in north Tel Aviv will be moved one day, but it's still there, handling mainly domestic flights.

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Are your travels in Israel taking you up in the air for a domestic flight to Eilat, or perhaps to the Golan Heights? If so, make sure you check your flight info carefully. You may be flying out not from Israel’s mega-transport hub Ben Gurion International Airport, but from its smaller, cuter cousin, Sde Dov.

Located in north Tel Aviv, just minutes as the crow – or the charter jet – flies from Tel Aviv Port, Sde Dov Airport is a major hub for homegrown Israeli airlines Arkia and Israir. It is also a magnet for Israel’s well-heeled with its ample parking for private planes and light aircraft.

The wee airport does handle a limited number of international flights, mostly to Cyprus, that beautiful beachy island known for its sun, sand and uber-cheap wedding packages. The space is also a major base for aircraft belong to the Israel Air Force, so don’t be surprised to see military planes coming and going while you wait for your flight.

Sde Dov’s airport code is SDV, as opposed to that of Ben-Gurion Airport, which is TLV, so if you plan on flying domestic within Israel, check your ticket. You are now cleared for takeoff.

You may wonder however as your plane shaves the adjacent rooftops, at the housing crowded around the airport.

The airport predated its neighbors, who have been agitating for it to be moved before a plane in trouble crashes into somebody's living room. Their efforts have not been entirely in vain: last year the government finally approved a plan to shut down Sde Dov by year-end 2018.

Will Sde Dov be moved? Will its runways be converted into residences? Stay tuned.

Coming into land at the Sde Dov airport after buzzing the Reading power station in Tel Aviv.Credit: Alon Ron
Sde Dov Airport.Credit: David Bachar
Sde Dov airport, a tad close to homes, and there to stay.Credit: Alon Ron

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