Flights at Ramon International Airport in Timna, north of Eilat, are expected to begin taking off in 2017.
The Transportation Ministry said on Tuesday that the new airport will have the capacity to handle large flights to and from Europe, as well as domestic and “trans-Atlantic flights from around the world.”
Transportation Minister Israel Katz noted that it will be the country’s first major civilian airport to open since 1948. It will serve as the alternative to Ben-Gurion International Airport during emergencies, and will replace the minor Eilat airport.
The airport is named after Israeli astronaut Ilan Ramon, who was killed in the Columbia space shuttle explosion in 2003, and his son Assaf, who was killed in a fighter jet crash in 2009.