The Ministry of Transport will promote a plan to build Israel's second international airport on an artificial island in the Mediterranean. A study of the plan will be conducted during the first quarter of 2007, said Minister of Transport Shaul Mofaz during a meeting to approve the plan today. All transport authorities participated in the meeting, including the Israel Airports Authority and Israel Ports Company Ltd.
Mofaz said construction of another international airport was essential, which would neutralize threats, improve passenger service, and provide an alternative to Ben Gurion Airport. He believes that artificial island will cost $1.5-2 billion to build, but the real estate consideration is not the only one. He proposes financing the airport by selling the Sde Dov Airfield in north Tel Aviv.
Discussions about building an artificial island began many years ago. In November 2002, the cabinet approved the building of two artificial islands in the Mediterranean: one for an airport offshore from Tel Aviv; the other for residences offshore from Bat Yam. Each island would cost $1.5 billion to build, according to the plan submitted to the cabinet.
As for a new airport for Eilat, Mofaz said he planned to meet Jordanian King Abdullah II during December, to discuss various options. One option is building a joint Eilat-Aqaba airport, another is building an airport at Uvda in the Negev.
Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2006
Copyright: Israel Business Arena -- 11/30/06
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