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Ramon Airport

Coordinates: 29°43′25.3″N 35°00′41.1″E / 29.723694°N 35.011417°E / 29.723694; 35.011417
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Ramon Airport

נמל התעופה רמון

مطار رامون
Airport typeCivilian
OperatorIsrael Airports Authority
ServesEilat, Israel
LocationSouthern District, Israel
OpenedJanuary 21, 2019
(5 years ago)
Elevation AMSL288 ft / 88 m
Coordinates29°43′25.3″N 35°00′41.1″E / 29.723694°N 35.011417°E / 29.723694; 35.011417
ETM is located in Israel
Location within Israel
Direction Length Surface
m ft
01/19 3,600 11,811 asphalt

Ramon Airport (Hebrew: נמל התעופה רמון, Arabic: مطار رامون) (IATA: ETM, ICAO: LLER), named after Ilan and Assaf Ramon[1] and unofficially also known as Eilat-Ramon Airport, is an international airport located in the Timna Valley in southern Israel. Ramon Airport is the second busiest in Israel (after Ben Gurion Airport) and has replaced the former Eilat Airport and Ovda Airport for civilian traffic. It also serves as the primary diversion airport in Israel.

The airport is located 18 km (11 mi) north of Eilat, next to Be'er Ora. Unlike the previous airport in Eilat, it has ample ramp space and a longer 3,600 m (11,800 ft) runway, which allows large aircraft to land and park. The airport was originally due to open in April 2017,[2][3] but the opening was pushed back and the airport opened on January 21, 2019. The Irish low-cost carrier Ryanair inaugurated the first international flight service with a Boeing 737–800 from Poznan, Poland, on March 4, 2019.[4][5][6][7]


The airport's control tower
Planes at Ramon Airport


Eilat Airport was established in 1949, when most of what would later be Eilat was empty. As the city developed, much of it was built around the airport. In the 1994 Peace Agreement between Israel and Jordan it was decided that operations would be transferred from Eilat Airport to Aqaba Airport in Jordan. The original plan was to rename Aqaba Airport as Aqaba–Eilat Peace International Airport.[8] The agreement was never carried out, and an agreement between the two countries in March 1997, stipulated that domestic flights would continue to use Eilat Airport, whilst no further action to move international flights took place.[9] Nonetheless, the construction of Ramon Airport angered Jordan, as this was seen by the Jordanian side as reneging on the promise of a joint airport made in the 1990s.[10][11]

Removing the Eilat Airport from the city center was considered necessary for further development of Eilat, as it would allow, among other things, the construction of additional hotels close to the shoreline. It would also reduce noise pollution. The project is part of a larger plan to develop the city, which includes mega-projects such as moving the Port of Eilat to a location near the Jordanian border (for which removing the original airport is necessary), the Railway to Eilat, and upgrading the Arava Road.[12]

The airport is named in memory of the first Israeli astronaut Ilan Ramon, who perished in the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster, and his son Assaf Ramon who died six years later when his F-16 fighter jet crashed in a training accident.[13][14][15]

Planning and construction[edit]

The South District Planning and Construction Committee gave its approval for the project in 2003,[16] and advanced planning was approved by the Israeli government in July 2010.[13]

Construction was authorized on July 24, 2011, before advanced planning had been completed.[17] The project's projected cost was 1.95 billion[18] and it was funded partly by real estate revenue from selling the Eilat Airport's land.[17] The planning budget, approved on May 6, 2010, was ₪56 million.[19] There was a plan to make the airport a build-operate-transfer (BOT) project, but the Israel Airports Authority (IAA) objected, and the government authorized it to plan and oversee the project.[17] Despite this, it was estimated that if the IAA took on the funding completely on its own, it would go bankrupt and default on its debts.[18] Danya Cebus was selected to build the passenger terminal.[20] The terminal was planned to feature a duty-free shop, a feature which was not present in Eilat Airport as Eilat Airport virtually only saw domestic flights. Mer Group was selected to provide command and control for the airport, including CCTV and perimeter protection.[2]

In May 2013, the cornerstone was laid in a ceremony attended by government officials and members of the Ramon family. Construction began two weeks later.[21]

The first test flight and landing in the airport took place on September 5, 2017.[22] In January 2019, Jordan objected to Israel's opening of the airport, arguing that operation of the airport threatens the kingdom's airspace.[23]

Ovda Airport which was built as a military airbase and is still used for that purpose had become the main airport for international flights to Southern Israel in the 2010s, as the facilities at Eilat Airport did not allow for the operation of larger and heavier planes. After Eilat Ramon Airport opened, Ovda was closed to civilian traffic.


The airport is located 18 km (11 mi) north of Eilat.[19] Aside from Highway 90, it may also someday be reachable from the center of the country and Eilat via a proposed high-speed rail line and a light rail line that will connect it to the city. A bus terminal and a park and ride facility was built next to the airport at a cost 400 million. The bus terminal will replace the Eilat Central Bus Station.[24] When the airport opened in 2019, the new bus station was not completed, and shuttle services are available for passengers to connect from the airport to the city of Eilat.[25] All in all, the airport will be able to handle 2 million passengers a year.[2]

The airport features a 3,600 m (11,800 ft) runway and has eight remote-parking stands for large aircraft and nine for turboprop airplanes.[13] The land area of the airport covers 5,500 dunams (5.5 km2), and the main terminal building is 45,000 m2 (480,000 sq ft).[26] It has the world's tallest anti-missile fence 26 m (85 ft) tall and 4.5 km (2.8 mi) long.[27]

The runway is unusually long for an airport aimed to handle only two million passengers per year, which is in part due to the easily available real estate in the desert surrounding the site and also allows it to serve as a diversion airport for all types of aircraft originally scheduled to fly into Ben Gurion Airport. This avoids the numerous issues that would occur if a flight originally scheduled to fly into TLV were re-routed outside of Israel.[citation needed]

Airlines and destinations[edit]

The following airlines operate regular scheduled and charter flights to and from Ramon Airport:[28]

Arkia[29] Tel Aviv
Israir AirlinesTel Aviv


Annual passenger traffic at ETH ETM airports. See Wikidata query.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Eilat/Ilan & Assaf Ramon International Airport – Declaration and General Information". Israel Airports Authority. February 9, 2016. Retrieved August 27, 2016.
  2. ^ a b c Yeshayahu, Kobi (August 26, 2016). "Mer Group will Build Command and Control Center in Timna Airport". Globes (in Hebrew). Retrieved August 27, 2016.
  3. ^ JNS.org (March 13, 2015). "IDF Outlines Defense of Southern Airport, Braces for Islamic State-Linked Attack". Algemeiner. Retrieved August 27, 2016.
  4. ^ "New Eilat airport to open April 2018". Globes. 12 December 2017.
  5. ^ "Eilat Ramon Airport Guide". Retrieved July 1, 2017.
  6. ^ Noam, Rotem (May 23, 2018). "צה"ל חושף: הגדר הגבוהה בעולם" [The IDF Presents: The World's Tallest Fence]. Evererev.co.il (in Hebrew). Retrieved June 18, 2018.
  7. ^ Blumental, Itay (December 12, 2018). "השער האווירי הבא: נמל התעופה "רמון" ייחנך בחודש הקרוב" [The Next Aerial Gate: Ramon Airport to Be Inaugurated in the Coming Month]. Ynet. Retrieved January 2, 2019.
  8. ^ Ben Hussein, Mohammad (July 8, 1999). "Jordan, Israel Agree to Construction of Aqaba-Eilat Airport". Archived from the original on September 27, 2007. Retrieved April 9, 2012.
  9. ^ "Eilat to Maintain Internal Flight Service". Israel Business Today. March 15, 2007. Archived from the original on October 21, 2012. Retrieved April 9, 2012.
  10. ^ "Israel's New Airport is Angering Jordan, a Rare Friend in the Region". Haaretz.
  11. ^ "Airport planned for Israel-Jordan border clouds neighborly ties | Reuters". Reuters. 22 June 2016.
  12. ^ Gil, Yasmin (July 18, 2011). "Is This What Will Save the City's Decline? The Prime Minister Assembled Ministerial Committee for Eilat Development" (in Hebrew). Retrieved April 9, 2012.
  13. ^ a b c "Timna Airport to be Named After Ilan and Assaf Ramon". Ynet (in Hebrew). July 18, 2010. Retrieved April 9, 2012.
  14. ^ Timna Airport, Israel deot. Transport, retrieved 28/04/2012
  15. ^ Boudreaux, Richard (September 14, 2009). "Israel pilot Assaf Ramon, astronaut's son, dies in F-16 crash". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved April 1, 2015.
  16. ^ "Alternative Airport in Eilat Area" (in Hebrew). Israel National News. March 5, 2003. Retrieved April 18, 2012.
  17. ^ a b c Gil, Yasmin (July 24, 2011). הממשלה אישרה: נמל תעופה בינלאומי יוקם בתמנע [The Government Approved: International Airport to be Built in Timna]. Calcalist (in Hebrew). Retrieved April 9, 2012.
  18. ^ a b Bar-Eli, Avi; Blumenkranz, Zohar (February 26, 2013). "Israel Airports Authority Will Lose ₪9.4 Billion From Operating Timna Airport". TheMarker (in Hebrew). Retrieved February 26, 2013.
  19. ^ a b Shihor-Aharonson, Anat (May 6, 2010). "Green Light for Building the New Airport in Timna". nrg Maariv (in Hebrew). Retrieved April 9, 2012.
  20. ^ "Danya Cebus Wins Ramon Airport Tender". Globes (in Hebrew). March 8, 2015. Retrieved March 8, 2015.
  21. ^ "Construction on Israel's New International Airport Takes Off – Features – Haaretz". Haaretz. Retrieved 2016-08-28.
  22. ^ הדר, רעות (5 September 2017). לראשונה: מטוס נוסעים בשדה תעופה רמון (in Hebrew). Arutz 7. Retrieved 5 September 2017.
  23. ^ "Jordan hits out at Israel's new Red Sea airport". AFP. January 21, 2019. Retrieved 2019-06-01.
  24. ^ Bar-Eli, Avi; Blumenkranz, Zohar (September 5, 2010). "Light Rail Will Connect Timna Airport to Eilat and Taba Terminal". TheMarker (in Hebrew). Retrieved April 9, 2012.
  25. ^ How to get from Ramon Airport to Eilat, How to get from Ramon Airport to Eilat, retrieved 14/08/2016
  26. ^ Shemer, Hila. שער הכניסה הדרומי של ישראל: נמל התעופה רמון-אילת ממריא [Israel's Southern Gateway: Eilat–Ramon Airport Takes Off]. XNet (in Hebrew). Retrieved February 2, 2019.
  27. ^ Ahronheim, Anna (May 17, 2018). "State of the art smart fence to protect future airport, Jordanian border". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved July 5, 2018.
  28. ^ "Online Flight Timetable". iaa.gov.il.
  29. ^ Raz-Chaimovich, Michal (20 January 2019). "Can Ramon Airport breathe new life into Eilat?". Globes.

External links[edit]

Media related to Ramon Airport at Wikimedia Commons