Israel began last week the construction of Ilan and Asaf Ramon Airport in Timna, in the Arava Desert.
The airport is to be named for Ilan Ramon, Israel's first astronaut, who died in the breakup of the space shuttle Columbia in 2003, and his son Asaf, who died in an Israel Air Force training mission in 2009.
The new Ramon International Airport will cost an estimated NIS 1.7 billion to build. The airport is scheduled to be operational in four years.
The Ramon International Airport in Timna, located 18km north of Eilat and will replace existing airports in Ovda and Eilat, and feature a state-of-the-art light rail that will transport travelers to downtown Eilat. The Ramon International Airport in Timna is expected to spark a 300% increase in tourism to southern Israel with an anticipated 1.5m travelers arriving on both international and domestic flights each year.
The new international airport will enable the existing airport, located within the city of Eilat, to be redeveloped into homes, businesses, and tourism, and will also enable larger numbers of flights from international destinations, and larger aircraft which are currently prohibited from landing in Eilat by the length of the runway there.