European companies are in discussions with Israel about developing a $14.5 billion airport offshore in the Mediterranean.
Jan de Nul Group of Luxembourg and Belgium’s Dredging Environmental & Marine Engineering have sent senior employees to discuss the project, according to Avi Simhon, head of the National Economic Council in the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office.
Simhon estimated the project could cost about US$10 billion (NZ$14.5b) and take 10-15 years to build.
Israel’s fast-growing economy is limited by a scarcity of land for infrastructure, especially in the centre of the country.
Israel currently has only one major airport.
The Israeli government approved plans to build two artificial islands off the country’s shores as far back as 2002, and again in 2012. Neither of the ideas ever moved forward.
Last year, the Israel Airports Authority unveiled a US$1.4 billion plan to upgrade Ben-Gurion International Airport to meet an expected increase in activity.
Total passenger traffic is expected to reach 24 million people this year, according to IAA forecasts, a 70 per cent jump since 2013, when the country approved the Open Skies Agreement and let low-cost airlines compete for business.
Source: Stuff, New Zealand