Netanyahu: Too late to stop closure of Sde Dov Airport

Barring any last-minute reprieve, the airport is set to close at midnight after over 60 years of commercial and military service.

July 1, 2019 02:08
1 minute read.
Tel Aviv’s Dov Hoz airport.

Sde Dov Dov Hoz Airport NEW PLANS FOR HOUSING . (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)

There is no way now to stop the closure of the Sde Dov Airport, and to do so would cost the state billions of shekels, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu decided on Sunday.

According to a statement put out by his office, this decision came after extensive consultations with the Transportation Ministry and legal advisers.

In what some will characterize as a “consolation prize” of sorts for the closing of the airport, which has been panned by Eilat officials and residents, Netanyahu instructed the Finance Ministry and Transportation Ministry to submit a plan within three weeks for a NIS 400 million development plan for the southern city. Netanyahu will also head an inter-ministerial committee to “ensure implementation” of the plan, the statement read.

The statement said that Netanyahu and the Transportation Ministry agreed to ensure that flights from Eilat’s Ramon Airport to Ben-Gurion Airport will continue with the same regularity as flights today from Eilat to Sde Dov.

According to the statement, this is in addition to other decisions already made that are designed to minimize hardships for Eilat residents caused by the closing of the airport. These steps include:

• Benefits for patients from Eilat who need medical service in the center of the country, such as paying for taxis from Ben-Gurion Airport to and from the hospitals in the Tel Aviv area. For chronic patients who need regular treatment, this will include paying for taxis to and from their homes in Eilat to the Ramon Airport, paying for the flight, and also paying for taxis from Ben-Gurion Airport to the treatments centers.

• Transportation solutions for frequent flyers from Eilat to Tel Aviv from Ben-Gurion Airport to bus and train stations to Tel Aviv, and providing special cards for the travelers that will ease their security checks at the airport.

• Upgrading Ben-Gurion Airport’s Terminal 1, where all Eilat flights will take-off and land; increasing parking at Terminal 1; and providing 36-hours free parking at Ramon Airport for those departing from Eilat.

• Providing special incentives for doctors flying to Eilat to provide medical services, and giving grants to medical teams willing to relocate to Eilat for five years.

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