World, Middle East

Israel inaugurates 2nd international airport near Eilat

Jordan cries foul, says new airport violates other countries’ sovereignty

Israel inaugurates 2nd international airport near Eilat

JERUSALEM/AMMAN (AA) - Israel on Monday inaugurated a new international airport near the Red Sea city of Eilat.

It is Israel’s second international airport after the Ben Gurion International Airport near Tel Aviv.

Construction of the new $455-million airport began in 2013.

It will reportedly be named after Ilan Ramon, Israel's first astronaut, who was killed in 2003 when the U.S. Columbia Space Shuttle exploded upon reentry.

According to the Israeli Transport Ministry, the airport will operate both domestic and international flights.

Jordan, for its part, has condemned the inauguration of the new airport, which is located close to the Jordanian port city of Aqaba.

Haitham Mesto, head of Jordan's Civil Aviation Regulatory Commission, warned that the new airport violates international standards "in respect to the sovereignty of other countries’ territory and airspace".

In support of his claim, Mesto cited the 1944 Chicago Convention on Civil Aviation, to which 192 countries -- including both Jordan and Israel -- are currently signatory.

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