The Airports Authority began operating the Terminal at the Ovda Air Force Base in 1982, after the signing of the peace treaty with Egypt.
Previously, charter flights from Europe landed at Etzion Airport, which was one of three airports in Sinai that were handed over to the Egyptians, after the signing of the peace treaty.
A civilian terminal was built at Ovda Airport, located 60 km north of Eilat, which began handling direct charter flights from Europe.
In 1988 a decision was taken whereby international flights bringing tourists to Eilat would land at Ovda, instead of at Eilat. This facilitated the operation of large, wide-bodied craft, such as the 747 Jumbo, which cannot operate from Eilat Airport. Since then, the majority of international flights land at Ovda instead of at Eilat. The runway at Ovda allows long range flights to take off for any European destination, without the need to refuel at BGIA.