Airport closure delayed to allow holiday travel

The Israel Airports Authority and the Ministries of Transport and Defense have agreed to a request by Eilat Mayor Meir Yitzhak Halevy to delay the planned closure of the Ovda airfield until after the coming Passover holiday, reports The authorities had planned to close the airport from April 1 for a security upgrade, but Halevy pleaded with them to allow it to remain open and to enable tourists to fly in and out during the holiday season. According to the report, Halevy wrote to the authorities that closing the airport on the eve of Passover would "severely harm" tourism in the city. His plea was backed up by the Eilat Hotels Association, which said that closing the airport before Passover would be a "slap in the face" to all the great efforts being made by the hotel industry to revive tourism to Eilat. The report said the airport has now received a reprieve of one month.