The Israeli air force (IAF) is going civil. No, the service’s squadrons will not be used for civil flights – but there will be an effort to develop greater commonality with civil aviation.
Late last year the IAF started the process of adjusting the standards of its air bases to those used in civil aviation.
According to the IAF website the process started at Ramon air base, and will expand to the service’s other sites.
The “gap-closing” process is under way, and the aim is to bring the two sets of standards to a common level.
Air forces around the world are not limited by regulations applied in civil aviation, but in the IAF a decision was made to comply with international standards, in order to improve co-operation with foreign air forces and allow civilian planes to land at air bases.
“The international standard is determined in accordance with calculations made by trusted professionals,” explains Maj Dan, head of the traffic section at IAF headquarters. “The IAF’s standards are very high, but because it is a closed military system civil aviation networks cannot ascertain that the current conditions in the IAF’s air bases comply with their set of standards.”
The first base to meet international standards will be Ramon air base in southern Israel.
“At Ramon, sometimes there are weather conditions that don’t allow for a normal landing and require the use of landing systems,” adds Maj Dan. “We’re implementing an overhaul of standards according to which landing systems will be designed – in co-operation with civil aviation officials – in order to ensure that they match civilian standards.”
In the future the rest of the service’s air bases will undergo changes in order to ensure that they, too, match the standards.