Israeli model Bar Refaeli..
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Following days of drama over whether the skies would welcome air traffic above Bar Refaeli’s wedding, the space ultimately remained open on Thursday evening, the Transportation Ministry confirmed.
The supermodel and her fiancé, Adi Ezra, had initially requested the no-fly zone last week, so that they could have free rein over the aerial photography taking place above their wedding at the Carmel Forest Spa Resort. Although on Sunday, Transportation Minister Israel Katz instructed aviation officials to keep the space open, the Civil Aviation Authority published a directive on Tuesday limiting aircraft operation.
By Thursday evening, however, the Transportation Ministry told The Jerusalem Post that the skies were, in fact, open to all air traffic. This decision followed Katz’s threat to fire Civil Aviation Authority head Joel Feldschuh on Wednesday night, should he refuse to comply.
The Civil Aviation Authority is a semi-independent regulator that acts under the jurisdiction of the Transportation Ministry.
The authority’s directive, which had been published on Tuesday, intended to limit flights from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. for safety reasons, according to the Post’s sister publication, Ma’ariv.
In addition, the directive would have mandated air traffic coordination with the Eden Flight company, the firm performing the wedding’s aerial photography, the Ma’ariv report said.
In response, Katz had warned Feldschuh that he would not hesitate to dismiss him if such measures were implemented, a statement from the Transportation Ministry said on Thursday.
“As the person responsible for the field of civil aviation and policy determination, I expect that you will comply with my instructions on the subject,” Katz told him. “I consider very serious this attempt to act against by instructions and the policies I have determined. The skies belong to the entire public, and we cannot grant exclusivity for commercial reasons to privileged individuals. Justice must be carried out and be seen.”
Air space closures for private events may be rare, but are not unprecedented, around the world. For example, the United States Federal Aviation Administration elected to ban air traffic above Chelsea Clinton’s 2010 wedding. According to The New York Times, this decision occurred following a request made by the Secret Service due to security concerns.
Asked if such scenarios had ever occurred in Israel in the past, the Transportation Ministry responded that similar cases had happened, but did not provide further details as to the nature of the events and whether closures ultimately ensued.