Ramon Airport near Eilat, named after Ilan and Assaf Ramon, will be inaugurated on January 22, 2019, Minister of Transport Yisrael Katz announced today. In the first stage, domestic commercial flights will be conducted by Arkia Airlines Ltd. and Israir Airlines and Tourism Ltd., after which flights by international airlines will also be introduced.
The official inaugural ceremony will be attended by Katz, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel Airports Authority director general Yaakov Ganot, the Ramon family, ambassadors, and other dignitaries.
The Airports Authority will publish the flight schedule for Ramon Airport soon. Flights will be introduced gradually until the complete transition from the terminal in central Eilat to the new terminal outside the town. The Airports Authority will later publish the flight schedule for international flights.
Katz decided to expedite construction of the airport after many years of delay in approving the project. The new airport is the first to be built in Israel since the country became independent. Katz said that the new airport would serve Israel as an additional international airport and an alternative to Ben Gurion Airport in an emergency, instead of the current alternative airports in Larnaca and Amman.
The new airport cost NIS 1.7 billion to build, with one third of the cost of the project being paid for by the sale of the land on which the old airport in Eilat is located, one third by the Israel Airports Authority, and one third from other external sources.
Commenting on the recent death of Rona Ramon, Ilan Ramon's widow, Katz said, "Rona Ramon was an Israeli symbol. When we inaugurate the airport, Rona will be there specially with us and with Ilan, Assaf, and their friends. May her memory be blessed." Katz added that Rona Ramon took her personal pain and made it a strength and her life's work in education and supporting the cause of young people. "When I told her that I had decided to name the new airport in Ramat Timna near Eilat, the first civilian airport built since the state was founded, after her husband, Ilan, and her son, Assaf, no one could have been happier than she," he said.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on December 30, 2018
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