Workers in a ‘cherry-picker’ lend a sense of scale to the smart fence being installed around the country’s newest civilian airport currently under construction.
(photo credit: DEFENSE MINISTRY)
Israel’s newest civilian airport, Eilat Ilan and Assaf Ramon International Airport, will be protected by a 30-meter high smart fence, the Defense Ministry announced on Monday.
The fence, which will extend 4.5 km., has been under construction for several months and is expected to cost a total of NIS 300 million by its completion in the next few months.
Similar to the one on the Israel- Egypt border, the fence will feature electronics, sensors and detection technology to ensure that incoming and departing planes are protected from all types of threats.
“We are constantly working to strengthen the security components on all of our borders, in the face of current and future challenges,” said Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman. “The unique obstacle we are currently building in the Arava to protect the new airport is yet another example of the creativity and competence of the defense establishment.”
The Defense Ministry began building the security fence along the Jordanian border last January and has completed some 30 kilometers of the barrier to date. Headed by Brig.-Gen.
Eran Ophir, head of the army’s fence-building administration, the fence is based on the model developed for those deployed on the borders of Egypt and in the Golan Heights, but in accordance with the unique topography of the Arava.
According to a Defense Ministry statement, extensive care was put into planning the fence in such a way that it would not damage or interfere with the surrounding environment and was developed alongside environmental protection authorities.
The project is being carried out by dozens of contractors from Defense Ministry’s Engineering and Construction Department, among others. As part of the construction, the ministry is clearing some 13 sq.km. of old minefields, which it expects to complete in the coming months.
The new facility is the first civilian airport to be built in the country since it was founded in 1948. The aiport is being built 19 km. north of the southern town of Eilat in the Timna Valley. It will replace Eilat’s J.
Hozman Aiport located in the city itself as well as the Ouvda Airport located some 60 km. north of Eilat.
The airport which is expected to handle an estimated 2,000,000 travelers each year and is being built at an estimated cost of NIS 1.7 billion.
The Eilat Ilan and Assaf Ramon International Airport is set to open in April 2018.