"Sde Dov Airport will not be vacated in the next 15 years. Under these conditions, I do not expect Sde Dov Airport to be vacated before 2018," said Tel Aviv-Jaffa Mayor Ron Huldai, commenting on the Ganot committee recommendations to gradually close the airport in north Tel Aviv over seven years. The recommendations mean that Huldai is foregoing 12,000 seafront apartments, due to be built on the site, anytime soon.
In early 2010, Minister of Transport Israel Katz and Minister of Housing and Construction Ariel Atias appointed an inter-ministerial team, chaired by Yaakov Granot, to examine the alternatives for vacating Sde Dov Airport, after the two ministers decided that 12,000 apartments would be built on the site, in order to ease Tel Aviv's housing shortage.
The Granot committee submitted its recommendations earlier this month to transfer the activity of Sde Dov Airport to Ben Gurion Airport's Terminal 1. The committee estimates that the state will earn $7 billion from the sale of Sde Dov Airport's land, of which $2 billion will go to the Israel Air Force.
Huldai said, "The land at Sde Dov Airport and the Reading Power Station are important and worthy for Tel Aviv's future development. The municipality has promoted ideas and proposals for future plans for the airport after it is vacated. I believe that the existence of an airport like Sde Dov, which is close to a business center, is important, which is why I have proposed many alternatives, such as building an international airport on an artificial island."
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on January 30, 2011
© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2011