Proximity to Jordanian Border Scares Planners of Timna Airport

The Transportation Ministry is re-examining the location for an airport that will serve as an alternative to the Eilat airport, because of reservations the defense establishment has expressed about the proposal to set it up at Timna.

The government had previously approved the plan to build the airport at Timna and the master plan was submitted a year ago. But, during a discussion on the issue last week with Transportation Minister Shaul Mofaz, security officials raised concerns that the airport would be too close to the Jordanian border, Haaretz has learned.

The officials said there could be a danger of attacks from across the border and also expressed fears about the planes flying so close to the border during take-off and landing.

They noted that al-Qaida operatives had already tried in the past to fire at the Eilat airport.

The plan was to establish the airport at Timna, 18 kilometers north of Eilat, at a projected price of some $200 million.

Part of the money is due to come from the sale of the land where the present Eilat airport is located. Its estimated worth is some $40 million.