Israeli airspace – small with big problems

The cynics say that the Israeli air force has a country and not vice versa. This is of course a wild exaggeration – but it is a symptom of a real, disturbing problem that is of concern to all the parties involved in Israeli aviation

Israel is a small country with a huge air force. The limited airspace is actually controlled by the air force – this leaves very little space for general aviation, but also affects the activities of commercial aviators.

This issue has been on the table for years, but no real solution has been found. In recent years the problem has become even worse, with the growing number of unmanned air systems (UAS) flying around.

The Israeli air force, the UAS manufacturers, the police and other groups are all operating the unmanned platforms – some of which have the wingspan of a Boeing 737 – and this is creating a huge problem for air traffic controllers.

To tackle this problem, a new attempt is being made to achieve an agreement with the air force on a “delegation of air space” basis.

If such an agreement is achieved (which I doubt) non-military air traffic will get extra living space at least part of the time, when fighters, UAS and other flying platforms are not using a specific section of the tiny, congested airspace.

This discussion will continue, and pressure from civil aviation-related bodies is growing. I wouldn’t bet on the outcome.


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