The Israel Ministry of Transportation has announced Israel’s second international airport is to be built at Timna, approximately 18km north of Eilat.
The construction of the new airport, which is to be named after the late Israeli astronaut Ilan Ramon and his son Assaf, is currently underway and it is expected to be completed by 2014, replacing the smaller airports in Eilat and Ovda.
The project is expected to cost 1.5billion Israeli shekel and encourage the growth of tourism to Israel. Once complete the airport will process 1.5million visitors a year from both international and domestic flights, at least three times more than the current airport in Eilat.
The second international airport is being built to help ease the pressure off Israel’s only international airport, the Ben-Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv, where traffic is growing at three to five per cent annually. In 2010 Ben-Gurion International Airport processed 11,485,509 international visitors in addition to 674,830 domestic visitors.
In addition to the new airport, a light rail will be built to connect the airport to Eilat city centre. The Ministry of Tourism also announced that Eilat’s central bus station will move to Timna once the airport has been completed.
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