Israel opens new airport named after Ilan and Asaf Ramon

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu today inaugurated the new Ramon Airport north of Eilat. The new airport, located in Timna, is the first civilian international airport built in Israel since independence.

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Named after Ilan Ramon, the Israeli astronaut lost in the 2003 Columbia space shuttle disaster and his eldest son Asaf, who died in a 2009 air force accident, the single-runway Ramon is designed for wide-body planes and an annual capacity of 2.5 million passengers.

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Airport cost $500 million and will replace the city’s cramped municipal airport as well as Ovda, an Israeli desert airbase that also accommodates civilian traffic.


Prime Minister Netanyahu, prior to the landing of the maiden flight to “Ramon” Airport, named after Ilan and Asaf Ramon, spoke with the airport control tower:

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“Ramon, this is Arkia 863. We are very moved to be on the first flight to Ramon Airport. We see you clearly. The airport is very important for our national security, the development of the Negev and Eilat, and the development of our civil aviation. This truly is very, very moving. This moment and this airport cause us to remember Ilan, Asaf and Rona Ramon. The Ramon family will be with us here.
We are due to land.”

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“Last night the air force strongly attacked Iranian targets in Syria after Iran launched a missile from there at our territory. We will not ignore such acts of aggression as Iran attempts to entrench itself militarily in Syria and given explicit statements by Iran that it intends to destroy Israel, as the commander of the Iranian air force has just said.

We are acting against Iran and against the Syrian forces that abet the Iranian aggression.

Whoever tries to hurt us – we hurt them. Whoever threatens to destroy us will bear the full responsibility”, Netanyahu said.