An Elal Boeing 777 aircraft at Ben-Gurion International Airport.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
(Tribune News Service) - Ben Gurion Airport will undergo major expansion in the coming few years following a huge increase in passenger traffic due to the Open Skies policy inaugurated by the Minister of Transport. Earlier this month, the 20 millionth passenger passed through the airport with passenger traffic up 17% from last year. Next year the Ministry of Transport expects 23 million passengers at Ben Gurion airport and 30 million passengers by 2024.
To cope with expanded passenger traffic, Ben Gurion airport is undergoing expansion and renovation. Over the past year Terminal 1, for departing passengers on low-cost airlines, has been renovated and reopened with a new duty free area.
Passengers no longer depart via Terminal 3 but are bused directly to planes from Terminal 1. The number of passengers using Terminal 1 is expected to more than double from 1.4 million this year to over 3 million by 2019. Ultimately passengers on low-cost flights will also enter Israel through Terminal 1 instead of Terminal 3.
Over the past week passengers on internal flights have been switched to from Terminal 1 to Terminal 3 and construction of a new Terminal 2 for internal flights will begin shortly in order to cope with extra flights after the closure of Tel Aviv's Sde Dov airport.
Meanwhile Terminal 3 is also set for major expansion. Eight new entrances to aircraft will open in the coming few weeks and there are plans to add 86 check-in points and additional self-service check-in facilities. Six new hand baggage inspection systems will also be introduced.
Transport Minister Yisrael Katz said, "We are committed to speeding up the development of Ben Gurion airport to prevent a situation in which the main air gateway into and out of Israel will become jammed with passengers and cargo. The plan will provide a response to the immediate needs of Ben Gurion airport and the increasing passenger traffic."
(c)2017 the Globes (Tel Aviv, Israel). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency.