$200m Expansion Planned for Israel's Ben Gurion Airport

The Israel Airports Authority will build another runway and a fourth parking slip at Ben Gurion Airport at a cost of $200 million. The Airports Authority and Ministry of Transport director general Gideon Siterman reached agreement on the project. The new runway and the parking slip will each cost $100 million. Construction will begin in 2007, and will take 3-4 years. The Airports Authority's budget will finance the project.

Siterman said the decision for the project had been taken earlier, but had been indefinitely postponed. With the increase in passenger traffic and flights at the airport, it was decided to implement the project beginning next year. The new runway and parking slip will reduce congestion, and make more landings and takeoffs possible.

Airports Authority director general Gabi Ophir said 9.3 million passengers were expected to pass through Ben Gurion Airport in 2006, 10% more than in 2005, and similar to the number in 2000, Israel's peak year for civil aviation. He attributed the increase in passenger not only to the stabilization of the security situation, but also the Airports Authority's decision to increase seat capacity on flights to and from Israel. More scheduled carriers and charter airlines have also been given permits to land in Israel.

Siterman said the Ministry of Transport would continue this policy.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes.co.il - on June 21, 2006

Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2006

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