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New airport for southern Israel

JTA

July 24, 2011 | 7:31 pm

Israel will build a $500 million airport to serve as the new main airport in its south.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Cabinet approved a plan Sunday for the airport in Timna Park to replace the one in Eilat, 18 miles north of Eilat, currently the site of the main southern airport.

The Timna Park airport, which will take approximately three years to construct, will be named for the late Ilan and Asaf Ramon and will replace the airport currently operating out of the center of the southern Israel resort.

Netanyahu said the relocation would free up valuable Eilat land for development and spare residents the noise and pollution of air traffic.

“This is part of the steps we are taking to change Eilat and the Negev, which will include laying a railway to Eilat and broadening the Arava road, and we are looking into the possibility of relocating Eilat port,” he said, according to a Cabinet statement.

Ilan Ramon, Israel’s first astronaut, was one of seven crew members killed in the space shuttle Columbia’s accident in February 2003. His son Asaf, a captain in the Israeli Air Force, was killed during a training flight in September 2009.

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