Eilat Airport has completed a $1.2 million renovation of its terminal and runway, which will be used until the city's new facility is ready in a few years, the Israel Airports Authority said last month. "Because the new larger airport in Eilat is only forecast to come into existence in a number of years, we will continue to use [and improve] the established one,"said Gabi Ofir, chief executive officer at the IAA. "Travelers to and from Eilat will now enjoy better conditions at the airport resulting from the increased volume of air traffic to the city and the expected growth in tourism" The Central Bureau of Statistics reported a 61% rise in air passenger arrivals in Eilat between January and May this year to 71,700 - a figure expected to increase further as more airlines open direct flights to the Red Sea resort. IAA spent $700,000 to increase the size of the arrivals hall, joining the departure halls of Israir and Arkia; upgrading the luggage conveyer belt to the standard of those at Ben-Gurion Airport; and adding more service desks. An additional $400,000 was spent to establish a new area for aircraft waiting to take off or, having landed, waiting to park. These new areas are expected to increase during busy times, the IAA said. A spokesman for IAA said that while the project to build the new airport in Eilat is still in discussion, no timeline for its implementation has been established.