Project cost – about $150 million; tender for planning and actual work to be issued during 2006; new airport will be both domestic and international, and will serve more than 2 million passengers per year.
Eilat’s new international airport project, in which some $150 million are to be invested, is officially on its way: the master plan for the airport has been submitted by IAA’s planning and engineering division to the district planning and construction commission, southern region.
The sub-commission for objections affiliated to the district commission discussed the objections to the plan and decided to approve it, pending a few amendments. Once it has examined the implications of the requested amendments, the IAA will present its standpoint. At the same time, the IAA is also preparing construction plans, programs, and a tender for the project’s execution.
In addition, alternatives are being examined for the project’s funding and execution format: planning and execution by the IAA, or the DBOT method through the private sector.
Publication of the tender (following initial screening) is planned for the second half of 2006, and the airport is planned to be operational by the end of 2010.
The new airport will replace both the existing airport in Eilat and the civilian terminal in Ovda, and will handle domestic and international flights, general aviation and cargo, while providing high quality service to passengers and aircraft alike. In addition, the new airport will free Eilat from the limitations imposed by the current airport on its surroundings, and will allow the city to develop in terms of real estate, business and economic activity.
The new Eilat airport will be built between the international border with Jordan and Route 90, north of Masiv Eilat nature reserve at the mouth of Nahal Rechem, about 19 km north of Eilat. This location of the new airport was chosen mostly for reasons of nature and landscape preservation. The plan emphasizes environmental issues and determines a mechanism aimed at examining environmental aspects and maintaining a balance between the airport and its natural surroundings.
At its first stage, the project is planned to handle a yearly traffic volume of 500 thousand international passengers and 1.75 million domestic passengers. The airport will include a 3,600 m. long runway, a parallel taxiway, aircraft parking positions, a passenger terminal, a control tower, a radar, operational areas, and a transportation system including roads and parking lots for the travelers’ convenience. The master plan also preserves an option for the airport’s expansion when the right conditions arise, and allows for the construction of a railway station next to the terminal.