The Israel Ministry of Tourism announced plans this week to open a new international airport in Timna, just 11 miles north of the southern seaside resort town of Eilat in late summer 2014.
To be named after the late Israeli astronaut Ilan Ramon, Israel’s new international airport will replace existing airports in Ovda and Eilat, and feature a state-of-the-art light rail that will transport travelers to downtown Eilat, as well as long- and short-term overnight parking. The $422 million airport is expected to spark a 300% increase in tourism to southern Israel with an anticipated 1.5 million travelers arriving on both international and domestic flights each year.
“We are extremely excited about the construction of the new international airport near Eilat,” said Haim Gutin, Israel Commissioner for Tourism, North and South America, “which will help encourage travel and simplify access to one of Israel’s most beautiful and inspiring regions.”
Approximately 1.35 million travelers passed through Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion International Airport last month–a new all-time high and a 15% increase compared to July 2010.