The small seaside military Sde Dov airport will relocate to the Negev by 2018, along with a myriad of IDF bases from around the country.
Land worth some $14 billion has simply become too valuable to remain for use as military bases in the central region, the Bank of Israel contends.
Instead, the BOI has called on the government to relocate the bases – including a significant portion of the IDF headquarters complex, the Kirya, which includes the Tel Hashomer base. A total of 47 acres in central Tel Aviv – some of the most expensive real estate in the world – is taken up by the campus.
The relocation project is being headed at the Defense Ministry by Lt.-Col. Peleg Ze’evi, who is tasked with moving at least 30,000 soldiers, officers and their families to the Negev region.
Installations to be built will include a $500 million training campus and a $400 million data center over the next 10 years, Ze’evi said.
The move will take them to the area around the existing Nevatim base, located near Be’er Sheva, the largest city in the Negev and known as the “capital” of the south, and not far from the Bedouin town of Hura, located slightly to the northeast.
The Negev comprises two-thirds of the country’s geographical mass, although not its population.
There have been numerous discussions about the possibility of transforming Nevatim’s air strip into a secondary international airport in order to take some of the pressure off traffic at Ben Gurion International Airport, but no final decision has been reached.