The Israel Airports Authority announced that starting next year, they would impose a ban on civilian aircrafts having four engines at Ben Gurion Airport.
These include jumbo jets like Boeing 747, as it wants to reduce air and noise pollution.
Announced on Thursday, the move is unlikely to have any such impact on major airlines that fly to the primary international airport in Israel.
This is because most of them have already shifted to two-engine plans as opposed to four-engine jets, but it could have an impact on major freight haulers who are still using them for cargo and mail.
The IAA stated that it had already begun to inform carriers about this particular reform in order to help them prepare for it. It will be implemented from March 2023.
Hagai Topolansky, the head of the IAA, said that this step was part of a broader plan that they are still developing.
Israel wants to modernize the Ben Gurion Airport in order to meet the rising demand and for keeping up with environmental challenges.
A retired general of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), Topolansky took his position in June and said that he had instructed the IAA authorities to take action for reducing the noise pollution at the airport.
This was done to reduce the impact on the environment and to make the situation easier for surrounding towns that are affected by the activities taking place at the airport.
The announcement also declared that the policy would have some exceptions. For instance, a US President’s arrival in a designated plane of Air Force One.
This is currently a Boeing 747-200 aircraft that comes with four engines. In recent years, most carriers have made the switch to two-engine planes because of the improvement in engine technology.
This has helped twin-engine aircrafts in delivering a better performance, while also keeping costs low. The last jumbo jet that was flown by El Al airlines was back in 2019 and it was a 747-400.
Delta had also retired the plane back in 2018. Some of the airlines that do fly to Tel Aviv are still using the Airbus A380 and Airbus A340.
The former is regarded as the world’s biggest passenger jet, but none of them are used to take flights to Israel.
But, there are still several cargo carriers, such as CAL Cargo Airlines, which are still shipping freight from and to Israel via 747s.
The IAA has now made two dramatic announcements within a time span of two weeks.
The authority had stated last month that about NIS 50 million were allocated by Topolansky for digitally transforming the Ben Gurion Airport.
This transformation would bypass procedures that take a lot of time, which would significantly reduce waiting times. The plan is to go into effect from next year.
It involves passengers weighing their bags independently and paying for the extra weight in Touch-and-Play booths. They would also be able to print luggage tags, so no check-in lines would be needed.