Minister promotes first Israeli-Palestinian airport

After Jerusalem municipality decided to promote construction on lands located over West Bank boundary, Regional Cooperation Minister Frej offers to reopen defunct airport at the site and build a Palestinian terminal next to it

Gilad Cohen|
Regional Cooperation Minister Issawi Frej is promoting the construction of an airport that would become the first-ever airfield under joint Israeli-Palestinian ownership, Ynet has learned on Tuesday.
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    הדמיית נמל התעופה
    הדמיית נמל התעופה
    A simulation of an airport at Atarot, Jerusalem
    (Illustration: Kucik Aviram Architecture & Preservation)
    The site, which is known by the name Atarot, once housed an airport in the days of British rule but has been since abandoned.
    "As Israel's aviation needs increase, with Ben Gurion Airport very close to its capacity limitations, and as the decision on the location of Israel's next airport continues to linger, the existing resource of ready airfields in Atarot must be utilized and reopened as a joint Israeli-Palestinian airport," Frej said.
    "The reconstruction of the airfield and its opening will both address the aviation needs of the Jerusalem metropolitan area and also address the need of the residents of the Palestinian Authority for an air entry and exit gate."
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    עיסאווי פריג'
    עיסאווי פריג'
    Regional Cooperation Minister Issawi Frej
    (Photo: Yoav Dudkevich)
    According to the minister's plan, the airport will be rebuilt and a Palestinian terminal will be built next to it. Subject to security arrangements, it will allow residents of the Palestinian Authority to fly directly from Jerusalem to various destinations around the world.
    Frej believes that the airport could serve as many as 5 million passengers annually and will be a boon for the Israeli economy as a whole and Jerusalem's economy in particular.
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