Travel Trends: Ben-Gurion installs new radar display

After a series of near misses at Ben-Gurion Airport, the Israel Airports Authority reported this week that it has completed the installation of a new radar display system at the country's largest commercial airport.

By NATHAN BURSTEIN
June 7, 2007 07:16
2 minute read.
bengurion radar 298 88

bengurion radar 298 88. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)

 
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Ben-Gurion installs new radar display After a series of near misses at Ben-Gurion Airport, the Israel Airports Authority reported this week that it has completed the installation of a new radar display system at the country's largest commercial airport. The IAA purchased the system at a cost of NIS 12 million from American air systems giant Lockheed Martin through an agreement it has with the Federal Aviation Administration, the American governing body for air travel. In addition to more sophisticated technology for tracking planes entering and exiting Israeli air space, the new radar system presents the information in a more "up to date, user-friendly" manner, according to IAA spokesperson Liza Dvir. New display screens provided as part of the agreement should help air traffic control workers at Ben-Gurion monitor planes better during the daytime, the IAA said, reducing supervisors' reliance on judgments made primarily with human eyes. May air traffic at B-G increases More passengers flying on more planes passed through Ben-Gurion Airport last month than in May 2006, with the number of travelers rising an impressive 9.6 percent to 848,075. The number of international flights coming in and out of the airport rose at a smaller rate, growing 4.5% to 6,103 landings and take-offs for the month. The numbers suggest fuller flights for travelers entering and leaving Israel, with the Israel Airports Authority reporting that Paris' Charles De Gaulle Airport remains the most popular destination for outbound traffic. In contrast to the international numbers, domestic travel dropped slightly from May of last year, with 40,766 passengers flying within Israel -- a decrease of 0.2%. Tourism minister visits Druse, Beduin sites Yitzhak Aharonovich continued his ongoing road trip as Tourism Minister last week with visits to Druse, Beduin and Jewish travel spots in the North of the country with stops on the tour including Daliat al-Carmel, Shfaram, Busmat Tivon and the city of Carmel. The visits centered on meetings between the first-time minister and tourism workers and officials in each city, with discussions focusing on issues ranging from travel-related infrastructure to initiatives supported by the ministry in Druse- and Bedouin-majority locations. Aharonovich paid tribute at each stop to the contributions of Israel's Druse and Beduin to tourism, pledging budgetary support to tourism projects involving the country's minority groups "from the start to the end" of his tenure. Swiss Air to serve New Delhi, Shanghai It's not the most direct route, but Israelis looking for flights to India and China will soon be able to consider flying through Switzerland. Swiss Air, which has enlarged its fleet with eight new Airbus jets since November, is using the new aircraft to expand its list of destinations. The airline will begin offering seven flights weekly to New Delhi starting in November, and will begin the same number of flights to Shanghai next March, a month before adding two additional Airbus A340s to its fleet. Air Canada unveils summer fares Air Canada announced new summer rates to destinations across Canada and the US this week, offering Israeli travelers tickets to its hub Toronto ($1,271), Montreal ($1,283) and Vancouver ($1,507), as well as to US destinations including Boston ($1,166), Washington DC ($1,197) and San Francisco ($1,427). Though subject to change, prices include taxes and other fees and are for passengers departing Ben-Gurion Airport between July 1 and August 27, the airline's Tel Aviv office said.

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