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Efforts continuing to ‘freeze’ Israeli airport plans near Aqaba — Momani

By Raed Omari - Aug 13,2015 - Last updated at Aug 13,2015

AMMAN — Jordan is pursuing its efforts to “freeze” an Israeli plan to build an airport near the border north of Aqaba that is considered a threat to Jordan’s airspace safety, a senior official said on Thursday.

In remarks to The Jordan Times Thursday, Minister of State for Media Affairs and Communications Mohammad Momani said that Jordan would do whatever is needed to prevent Israel from carrying out its plans, citing the intended airport's "inevitable" risks to the Kingdom’s airspace safety and security.

The airport, which Israel plans to build some 18 kilometres north of its port city of Eilat on the Gulf of Aqaba, would serve domestic and international flights and is projected to open by the end of  2016, according to the Israeli press.

Israeli Transport Minister Yisrael Katz was quoted by Reuters as saying Thursday that Tel Aviv is in talks to alleviate Jordan's concerns about potential safety risks of the intended Timna airport. He did not name the parties Tel Aviv is talking to, but said they were “various agencies”. 

The government has previously said that it has taken all measures to protest the Timna plan, citing the project's risky disruptions to the Kingdom's air corridors. 

Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh has previously told lawmakers that Amman has made all the necessary contacts with international parties and Israeli officials, including a complaint to the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), to assert that the airport’s location constitutes a violation to Jordan’s sovereignty.

The setting up of the Timna airport near the King Hussein International Airport is in violation of the 1944 Chicago Convention on International Civil Aviation and breaches public safety requirements that should be observed in the event of designing plans for a new airport, officials said.


In October 2013, Civil Aviation Regulatory Commission Chief Commissioner Mohammad Qaraan said the Kingdom made its position on the airport clear at a meeting with Israeli officials.

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