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Kingdom rejects Israeli plan to build airport near border

By JT - Jan 23,2014 - Last updated at Jan 23,2014

AMMAN — Jordan on Thursday voiced its “absolute rejection” of plans to establish an Israeli airport near the Kingdom’s border over “several technical and legal issues”.

Setting up the planned Timna Airport to the north of Aqaba on the Israeli side of the border will pose a breach of Jordan’s sovereignty over its own airspace, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Sabah Al Rafie said.

Jordan made its stand clear at a meeting held on Thursday morning by the joint Jordanian-Israeli transport committee to discuss the projected airport, which the Israeli authorities have started work on, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, quoted Rafie as saying.

The project, she added, is in violation of international laws, especially Article 1 of the 1944 Convention on International Civil Aviation, noting that it also violates the standards of the International Civil Aviation Organisation.

The said article reads: “The contracting states recognise that every state has complete and exclusive sovereignty over the airspace above its territory.”

Jordan stressed at the meeting that building the airport in that location will threaten aviation safety in the entire region, Rafie added.

Jordanian officials cited the planned Timna Airport’s close proximity to the King Hussein International Airport in Aqaba.

The Kingdom’s delegation at Thursday’s meeting was headed by Transport Ministry Secretary General Laith Dababneh, Petra reported.

Jordan notified Israel of its rejection of the airport project last year.

In October 2013, Civil Aviation Regulatory Commission Chief Commissioner Mohammad Qaraan said the Kingdom made its position on the airport clear at a meeting with Israeli officials.

The airport, which Israel plans to build some 18 kilometres north of its port city of Eilat, will serve domestic and international flights and is projected to open in 2016, according to Israel’s Haaretz newspaper.

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