Jordan protests inauguration of new Israeli airport near Aqaba

The Jordan Times – Jordan on Monday announced it has filed a complaint against Israel’s opening of Ramon Airport just across the border with International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).

In a statement, Civil Aviation Regulatory Commission (CARC) Chief Commissioner Captain Haitham Misto said that Jordan’s rejection is based on “the fact that the airport violates the international standards related to respecting other countries’ airspaces and territorial sovereignty”, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.

The commission requested that ICAO take all measures to ensure that Israel complies with international aviation rules in a way that guarantees the operation of the airport would not compromise Jordan’s interests.

Misto said Israel must abide by the 1944 Chicago Convention on International Civil Aviation signed by 192 countries, including Jordan and Israel.

The CARC has also contacted its Israeli peer and requested the operation of the airport be delayed until solving all hanging issues under the umbrella of the ICAO, the chief commissioner noted.

Misto stressed that the government has the right to defend and protect the Kingdom’s interests, and is following up on the issue with the ICAO to reach a solution in line with international laws and standards.

Also on Monday, the Lower House’s Public Services and Transportation Committee issued a statement calling on the international community to oblige Israel to abide by international law and stressing that the Israeli airport violates the peace treaty signed between Jordan and Israel.

The treaty stipulates that such a move must be coordinated with Jordan ahead of time, according to the statement.

Earlier on Monday, Israel inaugurated its new international airport in its desert south, meant to boost tourism to the nearby Red Sea and serve as an emergency alternative to Tel Aviv’s Ben-Gurion Airport, according to Israeli media.

Ramon is about 18km from the Israeli Red Sea resort of Eilat and the adjacent Jordanian port of Aqaba.

It will currently handle only domestic flights, but in the future, the airport plans to receive international flights, according to reports.