The old passenger terminal at the Ben Gurion Airport will be converted into a special terminal for low-budget flights to and from Israel. Some NIS 15 million will be invested in renovating the terminal, which will be operational as of next year, and ready to serve European companies offering cheap flights.
After the new terminal at Ben Gurion was opened in 2004, the Israel Airports Authority (IAA) initially planned to convert the old terminal into a commercial area, and rent out space there to aviation companies and other service providers.
However, it was later decided that the place will continue to serve as a terminal. According to plans, passengers will undergo security and passport checks in the special terminal, and then be transported by bus to the new terminal and arrive straight to the Duty Free area.
According to IAA estimates, the number of low-cost aviation companies operating in Israel is set to grow rapidly and peak next year. The Tourism and Transportation Ministries are encouraging such companies to come to Israel, and are currently in negotiations with British Midland, which has already expressed interest in flying to Israel.
Additionally, Israel has recently approached the European community seeking to begin negotiations over a mutual aviation treaty that would regulate the ties between Israel and Europe and may even enable Israeli companies to operate between various destinations within Europe.