Ben Gurion Airport resumes normal fueling procedures

Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz decides fuel supply safe; grounding of int'l air traffic believed to have cost economy tens of millions of shekels.

May 9, 2011 18:24
1 minute read.
An El Al plane taxiing down the runway

311_el al plane. (photo credit: Courtesy)

Ben Gurion International Airport was scheduled to resume normal fueling procedures on Monday evening after a weekend of mass confusion and irate passengers who had been left stranded following the discovery of contamination in the country’s jet fuel supply on Thursday.

The decision was made after Transportation minister Yisrael Katz met with Israel Airports Authority representatives and the head of the Paz Oil Company.

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Flights resume at Ben Gurion after fuel contamination
Flights leaving Israel stopped due to fuel contamination

Domestic air travel had been renewed Sunday morning.

The Israel Airports Authority said the “Paz Aviation Assets” gas company notified it on Sunday morning that the fuel supply for Israel’s domestic flights is safe to use, and that flights between Tel Aviv and Eilat were renewed shortly thereafter.

On Sunday evening, Paz announced that the refueling of aircraft at Ben-Gurion Airport can resume, following a large number of lab tests carried out in Israel since Thursday.

They added that as of Sunday evening, it was still too early to gauge the effects of the fuel crisis.

Paz gave the airports the go-ahead after tests in Israeli labs showed that the foreign substance found in the fuel system’s filters did not pose a threat, though its exact makeup has yet to be determined.

Samples of the greasy liquid were sent on Friday to be examined at a US Air Force lab in Germany, but the lab has so far refused to perform the tests.

Israeli authorities turned to the lab in Germany after tests carried out by the Israel Institute of Energy and Environment were unable to recognize the molecular structure of the contaminant.

The grounding of international air traffic is believed to have cost the economy tens of millions of shekels.

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