A joint task force has been formed between the Transportation and Defense Ministries to explore ways to coordinate the use of air space for civilian and defense purposes.
The task force, to be led by former Israel Air Force Commander General (res.) Amos Lapidot, will also look into ways to reduce air traffic safety hazards. Air traffic settings at Ben Gurion International Airport will be examined, air traffic training programs and upgraded standards will be implemented and plans for new flight routes for civilian aircraft will be created by the committee, which will also be responsible for upgrading Uvda military airport in the Negev.
The move comes in the wake of several near-misses at Ben Gurion in the past year, most recently an incident last month in which an incoming flight was heading for the runway while an outgoing flight was waiting to take off. A major disaster was averted only because an alert El Al pilot noticed the situation and immediately notified air traffic control.