Eilat International airport – the saga continues

Hot temperatures in southern Israel must be influencing the plan to build a new international airport in Israel.

The Israel Airports Authority (IAA) has invited companies from Israel and abroad to participate in a pre-qualification process “in relation to a tender for the construction of the Ilan and Asaf Ramon International airport in Timna.”

The IAA intends to conduct a two-phase competitive selection process in order to select an entity to execute the project.

For the last 25 years there have been plans to build a new international airport in Eilat – a resort town on the Red Sea in southern Israel.

The airport will be named after Ilan Ramon – an Israeli astronaut who died in the Columbia space shuttle disaster in 2003 – and his son Asaf, an Israeli air force F-16 pilot who died in a crash in 2009.

The saga of a new international airport in Eilat has been going on for years. First the location was not agreed between the involved parties, then the idea was brought up to build a joint Israeli-Jordanian airport. Then bureaucracy overshadowed the process.

The Israeli government has approved the project, which will be carried out by the IAA. The cost of building the airport in Timna, north of Eilat, is estimated at $500 million.

The new airport will have a 3,600m runway that will allow large jets to take off to any destination in Europe.

The new planned airport will also serve as an alternate to Tel-Aviv’s Ben-Gurion. Currently, when this airport is closed flights are diverted to Cyprus and Jordan.

In other countries such programmes are often performed on a build-operate-transfer basis. The company that wins the tender gets the concession to operate it for 20-35 years, then it is transferred back to the state – or in this case to the IAA.

In this case mistakes have been made as if by someone that read a book titled “How not to build an airport”.

, , , ,

Leave a Reply