Ben Gurion Airport briefly closes to departures due to poor weather conditions

The Ben-Gurion Airport closure for departures followed a chain of closures at the country's other airports amid the ongoing dust storm.

November 4, 2015 17:02
1 minute read.

Planes on the tarmac at Ben-Gurion Airport during a dust storm

Planes on the tarmac at Ben-Gurion Airport during a dust storm


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Due to poor weather conditions, the Israel Airports Authority closed Ben-Gurion Airport to departures at about 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday. The shutdown would result in the delay of 11 flights in the following hour, the IAA said. At the time, five planes had completed boarding, while the remaining six were in the process of of doing so. Arrivals would take place as normal, the IAA added.

After five o'clock Ben Gurion began to allow departures on runway 26, but warned that there would likely be disruptions for the next hour. Three of the planes that were fully boarded and were waiting to take off when the delays began had departed by around 5:30 p.m. Visibility at the airport was 2000 meters and the wind speed was 11 knots.  

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At around 6:30 p.m. the airport released a statement saying it was returning to normal operations but that due to the weather delays were still possible.

The Ben-Gurion Airport closure for departures followed a chain of closures at the country's other airports also as a result of the ongoing dust storm.

Due to low visibility levels of fewer than 1,000 meters, the IAA temporarily cancelled both departures and arrivals at the Eilat Airport early Wednesday morning. As of 10:30 a.m., the Eilat airport reopened, but to departures only. By just before 4 p.m., the IAA reported that visibility in Eilat had improved, to 5,001 meters, enabling arrivals and departures for all domestic flights at the airport.

All in all, 16 arrivals and 13 departures to and from Eilat were canceled on Wednesday morning.

In the mid-afternoon, the IAA announced that Sde Dov Airport in Tel Aviv was closed for both departures and landings, also due to poor visibility of fewer than 1,000 meters.

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