Ben Gurion to Undergo Billion-Dollar Expansion

El Al planes parked on the tarmac at Ben Gurion International Airport. (Moshe Shai/Flash90)

The Airports Authority has developed a new, NIS 4 billion ($1.1 billion) plan to expand Ben Gurion Airport to accommodate the many travelers expected in the future. The plan will see the construction of several new terminals and parking facilities. Among the features of the expanded airport will be an outdoor walkway, where travelers and visitors will be able to watch planes taking off and landing.

In addition to passenger facilities, the airport will see an upgrade and modernization of the airport’s cargo facilities, which are small and outdated, according to many individuals and firms who import and export goods via the airport. The current cargo area will be closed down and moved to another part of the airport, away from the passenger terminals. Currently, the cargo area is located near Terminal 1, and there has often been congestion, both on the ground and in the air, because of the proximity of the facilities.

The Authority has building permits for the expansion, and many of the aspects of the project have already been approved by local building and planning commissions. The Authority said that the expansion was necessary in order to accommodate the growing numbers of tourists to Israel. By the end of December, the Authority expects some 20 million travelers to have passed through Ben Gurion this year, and the numbers will continue to increase, with more than 30 million annual travelers expected by the middle of the next decade.

In addition, the recent relaxation of rules on imported goods and the cancelation of Value Added sales Tax (VAT) and purchase tax on imported goods are expected to significantly increase the number of packages being imported into the country.