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Record-Breaking Summer for Ben-Gurion Int'l Airport

This summer has been a record-breaker for Ben-Gurion International Airport, with 15% more travelers passing through than in 2010.
By Chana Ya'ar
First Publish: 8/8/2011, 7:15 PM

Ben Gurion Airport: just before taking off.
Ben Gurion Airport: just before taking off.
Yoni Kempinski

This summer has been a record-breaker for Ben-Gurion International Airport, with 15 percent more travelers treading the tarmac at Israel's main airport than last year.

Currently the airport is operating with a nine percent annual traffic growth, according to the Israel Airports Authority (IAA).

Last month airport staffers faced the busiest day in the summer thus far; on July 28, there were 61, 091 passengers arriving and departing on 373 flights. August 11 and August 18 are also expected to be "high traffic" days as well.

In July alone, some 1.365 million passengers passed through the airport, with the United States, Greece, Italy, France, Russia and Germany listed as top destinations for both Israelis and foreign travelers.

By the end of the summer, the IAA said the airport will have seen 2.83 million passengers. Among those will be Israelis, foreigners, tourists and business people. The Authority advised passengers to arrive at the airport three hours ahead of scheduled flight time, and to always check the status of the flight schedule before leaving for the airport.

The airport is operating two runways during the month of August, said IAA CEO Kobi Mor, but will return to using one runway in September. “The Ben-Gurion Airport runway project is being performed while shortening the timetables and strictly ensuring flight safety,” he said, adding that the endpoint for the project is expected in two years' time.