Israel to Set up Desert Park for 500 Grounded Aircraft

  • Our Bureau
  • 07:39 AM, April 2, 2020
  • 2895
Israel to Set up Desert Park for 500 Grounded Aircraft

Israel’s planned 650-acre “Airpark” to house 500 commercial aircraft will be ready in few months from now.

It will be jointly owned by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) and IES Holdings, who recently a memorandum of understanding to begin work on the desert park. The $100 million project to establish a park in Negev near Israel Defense Force (IDF)’s Ovda air base was okayed by the defense ministry over a year ago, Globes reported Wednesday.

IAI will provide storage and security services, spare parts trading, aircraft maintenance, and will also be responsible for obtaining the required permits and regulatory approval. The services provided will be under the license of the Bedek Institute in IAI's aircraft division.

There are similar such aircraft storage parks in the US, Spain and Australia. Besides abundance of cheap land, the Negev park has a “natural competitive advantage” because the dry desert climate keeps corrosion at bay, the report said.

The Ovda air base served as an airport for commercial passenger flights until Eilat's Ramon airport opened last year.

The airpark could be operating within a few months once regulatory approvals are received. 

Owing to the current COVID-19 pandemic, there are about 7,500 aircraft parked in airports around the world including abandoned airports. The new airpark could provide additional parking and storage space.