Lines could get bad at Passover for understaffed border control officers at Ben-Gurion International Airport
Ben Gurion Airport
Ben-Gurion International Airport (in Hebrew, Namal Hate'ufa Ben-Gurion, or Natbag) is the main international airport of the State of Israel. Built in 1936 during the British Mandate, the airport was named Wilhelma Airport; its name was changed to Lod Airport with the creation of Israel in 1948, and in 1973 it was remained Ben-Gurion Airport in honor of Israel’s first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, who died that year.
The airport is located some 15 kilometers from Tel Aviv, and handles more than 11 million passengers every year. It falls under the control of the state's Israel Airports Authority. El Al Airlines, Israel’s flag carrier, began operating out of the airport in 1948, and to this day uses Ben-Gurion as its home base.
During the 1948 War on Independence, Ben-Gurion Airport was taken over by the Israeli army and all civilian activity was relocated to a nearby field. In July 1948, authority over the airport was transferred to Israel's Ministry of Transportation and in November 1949 the airport reopened with the arrival of the first flight by a Czech airliner.
The 1960s saw the need for the airport to update its runways to accommodate new aircrafts and there was an increase in the number of foreign airlines routinely operating from the airport. Domestic flights from Ben-Gurion ceased and were moved to a smaller field near Tel Aviv until a new internal flights terminal was inaugurated in 1969.
The airport received a billion-dollar facelift in 2004, with the opening of Terminal 3, which replaced Terminal 1 as the primary departure and arrival point for international flights.
Ben-Gurion is known as one of the world’s safest airports, with a high level of security provided by the Israel Defense Forces, Israel Police, and undercover agents. Passengers departing and entering the airport are subject to rigorous security checks, many of which have been adopted internationally.
Shortage of Israelis working abroad temporarily in security jobs could cause problem from as early as next week and run well into the summer
IAA management signed an agreement with Israel's finance minister to give every employee a $5,000 one-time bonus
Cigarettes, carpets and exotic birds in jars are a few of the items people have tried to smuggle into Israel
This week at the Tel Aviv Airport: A young American visiting Israel explains what it's like to travel as a deaf person; two Israeli sisters talk about their therapeutic calling
This week at the Tel Aviv airport: An expat explains why she's returning to Israel after 35 years; two Israelis studying in Lithuania talk about the Jewish club that brought them together
This week at the Tel Aviv airport: A high-tech man explains why cab drivers shouldn't be worried about self-driving cars, and Israeli army sweethearts describe how they met
This week at the Tel Aviv airport: Educators from Dusseldorf say their Jewish school doesn't isolate Jewish kids; a social worker explains his work: 'When someone paints on the wall with feces, you say its a Picasso'
This week at Ben-Gurion Airport: A long-time scuba diver says real quiet can only be found under water; a young aspiring politician explains why he's doing PR for the ultra-Orthodox even though he disagrees with them
Israel Airports Authority employees are protesting the convening of an Interior Ministry panel that could divert funds from the airport to nearby municipal governments