Israel’s new airport looks great. Now how about some good ground transportation?

Israel, to great fanfare, is about to open its newest and biggest airport at Timna, just 18 kilometres north of Eilat, the country’s southernmost city.

And there’s reason to celebrate. Unlike Ben-Gurion Intl., Israel’s main airport near Tel Aviv,  Timna — officially Eilat Ramon Airport — will have plenty of room to expand. After all, it’s been built in the desert.

Moreover, with two long parallel runways, Eilat Ramon will be able to handle many more flights than Eilat’s existing airport, which is tiny. Indeed, Israel hopes the new facility will attract many more plane loads of European sun seekers.


Israel’s new airport at Timna

But if  the new airport is to reach its potential, it will need good, swift ground transportation to the rest of Israel — something it now lacks.

Unlike Ben-Gurion, which will soon be linked to a high-speed railway line to Jerusalem, Eilat Ramon now has no rail link whatsoever. And although Israel hopes to build one between Eilat and Dimona many kilometres to the north, it has yet to put any shovels in the ground or turn over any sod.