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Ovda (Uvda / Ouvda)
2956'N 3456'E

Ovda (Uvda / Ouvda) is a new airbase built by the United States for the IAF as a replacement for Etzion AB. In September of 1978 Israeli and Egyptian negotiators met with US President Jimmy Carter at Camp David to negotiate the terms of peace. An agreement was signed in March of 1979 which called for the phased withdrawal of all Israeli troops for the Sinai by 1982. The Camp David Accords were matched by American pledges for security assistance for both Israel and Egypt totaling nearly $3 billion.

Located north west of Eilat, in the southern Negev region near the Jordanian border, it opened 1981. The facility consists of two parallel runways, 2,600 meters and 3,000 meters long. Initially a dual use facility, civil operations ended when Aqaba International in Jordan began to serve Elat. The civil area was at the shorter runway, while the miltary area was at the longer runway.

As a result of the peace treaty signed in October 1994, the governments of Jordan and Israel recognized that there was a need for a major international airport complex to better serve the existing air transportation needs of the region as well as to address anticipated growth. The region was supported by three separate airports; Aqaba International Airport in Jordan, and Eilat and Ovda in Israel. From an international aviation prospective, the area located at the southern extremity of the Jordan Rift Valley, including the cities of Aqaba and Eilat, can be viewed as a single region. The cities are interrelated not only in their geographic proximity, but also in their complementary economics & resources.

Jordan's Aqaba International Airport is used by both states, as stipulated under the 1994 peace treaty. Israel built a new terminal, on the Israeli side of the border, for passengers bound for Eilat at Aqaba International Airport. An interim solution, and a step towards building the joint Peace Airport, Israel had sole jurisdiction over the terminal as well as its own security, since it is on Israeli soil. The Peace Airport Aqaba Project includes the upgrading and refurbishment of the existing runway, construction of a new parallel taxiway, constructing new apron-terminal complex by expanding the existing terminal, and constructing new facilities for Israeli domestic and international traffic in addition to the improvement of air control capabilities.

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Page last modified: 09-07-2011 02:52:17 ZULU