Initial Israeli greenfield project nears completion

05 May 2017
The first-ever Israeli greenfield airport project is approaching completion. Pictured is the terminal building under construction at Eilat Ilan and Assaf Ramon International Airport. Source: Joe Charlaff

The first greenfield international airport project in Israel is accelerating towards completion, 19 km from Eilat. Named after Ilan Ramon, the astronaut who died in the space shuttle Columbia, and his son Assaf, who was killed in a military training accident, the new facility is intended to replace the old Eilat Airport.

Ilan and Assaf Ramon International Airport is scheduled to open towards the end of 2017. Initially designed to process 1.5 million passengers per year, Israel Airports Authority officials hope that traffic at the new airport will reach 2 million by 2020. Eilat Airport welcomed 1.52 million passengers in 2016, all but 128,000 of them on domestic flights.

Ilan and Assaf Ramon International is the first greenfield airport to be built in Israel since the country achieved independence in 1948. Other airports in the country - including main gateway Ben Gurion - were established during the British Mandate (1920-48).

Avi Chover, head of operations at Ilan and Assaf Ramon International Airport, updated Jane's on the project during a site visit. The single-level terminal occupies 30,000 m 2 , with 32 check-in counters as well as operational and support areas. The technology being installed is of the highest standard, Chover said, matching that at Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv. MER Group is supplying, installing, and maintaining security and information systems, including the command-and-control system at the new airport.

Completion of the terminal building is expected to be completed in the next three or four months. The structure itself already has an outer frame with a roof. Windows will be installed in the coming weeks and the floors are in the process of being laid. The ceiling will be covered in bamboo to match the surroundings outside, and the columns will be constructed like the branches of a tree.

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