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News Brief


Israel hopes to iron out major technical problems at Ben Gurion Airport by 2010.

Questioned at Sunday’s Cabinet meeting about congestion and radio interference that has been endangering planes at Israel’s largest airport, Transportation Minister Shaul Mofaz announced that he was setting up an emergency task force.

Within two or three years, Mofaz said, the task force hopes to expand the airspace available to civilian planes over Ben Gurion and to add a new runway.

Former Air Force chief Amos Lapidot will lead the task force — an appointment that may help in negotiations with the military about sharing access lanes at Ben Gurion.

Israeli authorities have been jittery about conditions at Ben Gurion given reports of several near-collisions by planes on takeoff and landing. Mofaz said there was no immediate risk of an aviation disaster at the airport.

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