There are finally signs that someone in the relevant Israeli ministries understands enough is enough, and that the new international airport in southern Israel must be built.
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 Assaf Ramon International airport in Timna”.
The IAA is conducting a two-phase competitive selection process in order to select an entity to execute the project.
According to Udi Bar-Oz , deputy director general operations at the IAA, the request for proposals is expected in the first quarter 0f 2014.
For the last 25 years there have been plans to build a new Eilat international airport, which will also serve as the alternate for Ben -Gurion – Israel’s only international airport. Currently, when this airport is closed, flights are diverted to Cyprus and Jordan.
Cost of building the airport in Timna, north of Eilat, is estimated at $500 million.
The new airport will have a 3,600m (11,811ft) runway that will allow large jets to take off to any destination in Europe.
Bar-Oz said the airport will be built as a “turnkey” project, adding: “We will get the airport ready for operation.”
He said the RFP is international, and every company that has experience in building airports will be able to compete.
If everything goes well from now on, we can expect to have a new international airport in Eilat in 2017.