Bnei Atarot residents told to leave to avoid plane noise

Environmental Protection Ministry says construction work raises decibel level past the legal limit.

el al ben gurion 88 298 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
el al ben gurion 88 298
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
The Environmental Protection Ministry has ordered about half the residents of the community of Bnei Atarot to evacuate their homes due to the noise created by planes landing and taking off from nearby Ben Gurion Airport, Army Radio reported on Tuesday. According to the ministry, the need for a temporary evacuation was necessary because of the decision to close down one of the two runways for repair work. The closure required Ben Gurion to reroute certain flight paths, which in turn raised decibal levels in the area of Bnei Atarot beyond the legal limit. The construction work was expected to last until the end of November. Until that time, a report published by Dr. Stelian Gilbert, the supervisor of radiation and noise in the Environmental Protection Ministry, suggested that the state should try and supply temporary housing to families which are suffering the results of the adjusted flight paths. The situation has left many in Bnei Atarot considerably frustrated. "Before I leave my house, I need to know where I'm going, who will pay for it, and how much time will I be there?" Ofer Inav, a resident of Bnei Atarot told Army Radio. Meanwhile, the Petah Tikva Magistrates' Court rejected a request forwarded by residents of Bnei Atarot to force the government to discuss immediately ways in which their homes could be protected from noise generated by airplanes.