B-G to close longest runway for renovations

The Israel Airports Authority plans to broaden the security zone at the end of runway as part of a project intended to improve airport safety.

Ben-Gurion Airport's longest runway is scheduled to close for renovations for two weeks at the end of March and another two weeks at the end of April. The Israel Airports Authority plans to broaden the security zone at the end of runway 08-26 as part of a project intended to improve airport safety. According to the IAA, the decision to split the renovation work was meant to ease congestion during the heavy Pessah tourism period. Runway 08-26 is the airport's longest, used for international and cargo flight takeoffs. The same renovations planned for 08-26 have already been completed on runway 12-30 in compliance with the recommendation of the Runway End Safety Organization, a group that advises on civil aviation around the world and has urged airports worldwide to adopt runway security-zone areas. The IAA recently announced a plan to upgrade civil aviation security; NIS 1 billion has been allocated for safety projects between 2008-2010. Meanwhile, IAA chairman Ovadia Eli and director-general Kobi Mor met Tuesday with representatives of foreign airlines in Israel to tighten and improve business relations. "The IAA sees its clientele as the most important part of this business, and you are our clients," Eli told the foreign carriers' representatives. "The IAA puts safety, security and service first, and we are always open to suggestions," he added.