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Military




Lod / Ben Gurion
3200'N 3453'E

Located at Lod in central Israel, several kilometres east of Tel Aviv, this facility consists of three runways forming an inverted triangle. The military area is parallel to the shortest runway, while the civil area is located at the bottom corner. The runways are shared by the military and civilian traffic.

All the heavy transport squadrons of the IDF/AF are based at Lod, as the military side is called. In the 1956 Sinai Campaign Israel was allied with France and England, which had decided to take action after Egypt nationalized the Suez Canal. French Mystere fighter squadrons were deployed at both Ramat David and Lod air force bases.

The manufacturing and modification facilities of Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI) are also located here. IAI Lahav Division is a world class leader in the field of Operational Upgrades of fighter and trainer aircraft. Lahav's facilities include well equipped avionics labs, aircraft hangars, assembly shops and a dedicated flight line, supported by IAI's Flight Test Center. IAI/Lahav is the depot facility for Israeli Air Force (IAF) first line fighter and training aircraft, such as F-16, A-4 and others. Depot maintenance is performed by IAI/Lahav within its facilities and at Customer's sites on other models including western and ex-Soviet made aircraft.

Ben Gurion International Airport, the gateway to Israel, is the busiest civil airport in the Middle East. Attempts have been made by officials to reduce the stringency of security arrangements and inspections at the airport, which normally require passengers arrive three hours before departure. General Security Service (Shin Bet) officials have rejected compromising security at the airport. Almost all airlines provide a "pre check-in service", enabling passengers to check in their baggage and receive boarding passes the day before the flight.

Built in 1936 as Lydda Airport, the facility was initially used by Imperial Airways as a stop-over base. Captured by the IDF on 11 July 1948, it was renamed Lod International Airport. The civilian facility was renamed Ben Gurion International Airport in 1974, following the death of the first Prime Minster of Israel. Estimates are that within ten years the existing Ben-Gurion International Airport will be dealing with over 15 million passengers annually and will not be able to handle the volume of projected traffic. The Israeli government plans to expand the existing facility and construct a new, multi-million-dollar international terminal. The new international terminal complex will consist of a 700,000 sf landside building, including ticketing, a well-wishers' hall, departures, and the arrivals complex, encompassing customs, claims, and a greeters' hall. Residents of the towns surrounding Ben-Gurion Airport are vehemently opposed.

Imagery of the Lod Airfield
Click on the small image to view a larger version

August 6 1970



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