Ben Gurion

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The History of Aviation


Ben Gurion

Israel Airports Authority

The Ben Gurion Airport/Tel Aviv , which has three runways, (the longest being nearly 3700 meters) is able to serve the largest and heaviest jetliners in use. It has one passenger terminal for charter and domestic flights, and two for the bulk of passengers on international flights. There is one freight terminal for agricultural exports (called Agrexco) and one for general cargo (called Maman). In 1995 the airport was regularly served by 35 scheduled airlines, and 68 non-scheduled airlines, hauling a total of 6,819,376 passengers, 47,346 aircraft movements and 262,929 tons of cargo and mail. Over 50 destinations worldwide are regularly served from Ben-Gurion Airport to five continents.

The airport was built in 1936 by the British government, then ruling Israel under a mandate from the League of Nations, as the main international airport of the country. From 1936 till 1948 it was known as Lydda Airport, from 1948 to 1974 as Lod Airport and since 1974 it bears the name of Israel's first Premier Minister David Ben Gurion. Since 1977 the airport has been operated and managed by the Israel Airports Authority , which took over from the Civil Aviation Administration. Some 2.500 people are directly employed by the airport, in addition to some 20,000 people who work in ancillary services and companies such as EL-AL Israel Airlines and the Israel Aircraft Industries. The airport management is currently involved in the planning and design of a new international terminal, dubbed "Terminal 2000" whichbecame ue to become operational in November 2004, and will be able to handle up to 16 million passengers annually.

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