JERUSALEM (Feb. 5)
Israel will build an IL 140 million jet airport in Eilat capable of handing intercontinental jets, it was announced here yesterday. Yehuda Rabin, chief of the Civil Aviation Administration, said construction would start this April and the airport would be completed within five years. He also reported that IL 5 million has been spent to resurface the runways at Jerusalem’s Atarot Airport so that it can handle medium-size aircraft of the Super Caravelle and Boeing 727 types. The Jerusalem airport is scheduled to open next month.
Rabin said the Eilat airport would service intercontinental jets flying directly from Europe and other points. He said it would be built at one of two sites, four or 11 kilometers from Eilat. The runways will be laid out so that jets approaching from the Red Sea will not fly over Eilat’s resort hotel area and will not fly over Eilat’s resort hotel area and will not interfere with traffic to Jordan’s Aqaba Airport. Rabin said that plans for the Eilat air terminal building called for the most modern equipment and facilities in compliance with international standards.
He conceded that scheduled international airlines have been hesitant about landing at Jerusalem because of the political implications but that there was every indication that charter flights would make good use of the improved facilities. Rabin also disclosed plans for the construction of an airport about 17 kilometers southeast of Beersheba which he said may subsequently become an alternative to Lod, at present Israel’s only international airport.