Safety improvements evaluated for B-G Airport

Of the Authority's NIS 1.6b. budget, some NIS550m. has been allocated for the improvement of the security and the safety in the air and on the ground.

bg tower 88 224 bw (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
bg tower 88 224 bw
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
A number of projects may be in the works to improve safety at Ben-Gurion International Airport with Transportation Minister Shaul Mofaz recommending relocating and raising the height of the control tower and the Israel Airports Authority publishing its schedule for reinforcing security in civil aviation. In the first meeting of Shaul Mofaz's Committee for Safety in Flights, the transportation minister warned that Ben-Gurion's control tower, at a height of 40 meters, is not high enough and is located in a problematic spot, thereby not allowing for a sufficient view of what is happening on the airport's runways. Several incidents have been caused as a result of the tower, according to Mofaz. Only recently, a disaster was prevented when a plane almost took off from a runway on which another plane was about to land; the tower control's inspectors could not see what was happening but a potential disaster was averted by an alert El-Al pilot. The committee recommended raising the height of the tower by some 30 meters to 70 meters. Mofaz instructed the forum to find an alternative location for the tower within two months and to examine the options for a permanent solution. Meanwhile, the IAA said that by the end of March a navigation device, Instrument Landing System (ILS), would be installed on runway number 30 to be used mainly for landings in bad weather conditions. ILS is a ground-based instrument that provides precise guidance to an aircraft approaching a runway. In addition, the Authority decided to broaden the security zone area at the end of runway 26, as already has been done on runway number 12-30. The broadening of the security zone area will be completed in March 2008. Runways' Security Zone Areas are a recommended standard of the Runway End Safety Organization, which advises on civil aviation around the world. The IAA further announced an upgrading of the voice and video control systems at the control tower radar in all of Israel's airports as well as the installation of a radio control system for emergencies. Also, flight inspectors will be retrained and updated on safety and teamwork regulations, more inspectors will be hired and trained abroad; and an instruction system will be installed inside the tower control and in the rest of the control units. Out of the Authority's NIS 1.6 billion development budget for 2008-2010, some NIS 550 million has been allocated for the improvement of the security and the safety in the air and on the ground.