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US to lower Israeli airport's safety ranking

FAA issues report listing various security defects in Ben Gurion International Airport, Transportation Ministry says Mofaz has been attempting to repair dangerous situation for a year

The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), deemed the authority on flight standards throughout the Western world, intends to lower the safety ranking given to Ben Gurion International Airport from level one to level two, a category usually prevalent among third world countries.


The FAA has issued a formal report on the airport's shortcomings, which was handed to Israel on Wednesday.


The change in category means Ben Gurion will be deemed less safe, and as a result American airlines will be banned from making changes in flight schedules or increasing the amount of flights between the countries, which will in all probability lead to a hike in airfare.


The Transportation Ministry responded by assuring the public that it had taken the report to heart, and that Israel's Civil Aviation Authority (ICAA) would be using the report in order to set guidelines for improvement.


A ministry statement said that Transportation Minister Shaul Mofaz "has been working to repair damage accumulated over dozens of years with investments in flight security, and central position-holders have been replaced… We plan to study the report intensively and restore everything found lacking so that Israel can return to the category one."


The report came as no surprise to the Transportation Ministry, as Mofaz had already exposed Ben Gurion's security defects at a press conference a year ago.


He presented a number of problems including malfunctioning or old equipment, dangerous frequency disruptions, and outdated guidelines and technology. "Everywhere we dug deep we started to see a collapse. We are in a state of emergency," Mofaz said at the conference.


פרסום ראשון: 11.19.08, 23:38
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