Holon Demands Immediate High Court Hearing on Late-night Flight Takeoffs

Holon has requested the High Court of Justice hold an immediate hearing on the plans to have nighttime departures from Ben-Gurion International Airport.

The city submitted its demand on Friday due to "the immediate and far-reaching consequences for the daily routine, suffering and even safety of the one million people who live in the communities surrounding the airport."

The court has agreed to hear the city's complaint before a three-justice panel, but has not set a date for the first session.

Last week the High Court turned down Holon's request to issue an injunction that would keep aircraft grounded in the middle of the night.

Currently, planes are not permitted to take off from Ben-Gurion between 1:40 A.M. and 4:30 A.M., because of the noise disturbance to people living under the flight paths.

But that window of silence is to be shut for the estimated three and a half years that it will take to renovate the runways in order to improve airport safety.

The schedule change is set to begin Tuesday, while the renovations are due to begin Thursday.

The state, in its response earlier this month to Holon's injunction request, argued that flights must be permitted to take off at all hours while the renovations are ongoing, which will necessitate some juggling of runways. It emphasized the safety aspects of the project.