Jordan on Monday hit out at Israel’s move to open a new international airport along their shared border close to the Red Sea, saying it would threaten the kingdom’s airspace.
“Jordan rejects the establishment of the Israeli airport in its current location,” head of Jordan’s Civil Aviation Regulatory Commission Haitham Misto said, according to state media.
Misto said the airport violated “international standards regarding respect for the sovereignty of airspace and territory of other countries”.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attended the opening ceremony earlier in the day of the Ramon Airport, meant to boost tourism in the Jewish state and serve as an emergency alternative to Tel Aviv’s Ben-Gurion airport.
Initially, the sleek new terminal will handle only domestic flights operated by Israeli carriers. A date has not yet been set for the start of international flights.
Jordan first voiced its objection to the new Israeli airport when construction began in 2013.
The airport sits just across the border from Jordan’s King Hussein International Airport in the Red Sea city of Aqaba.
Misto said Jordan had notified the International Civil Aviation Organization of “the kingdom’s strong objection”.
The kingdom, he said, had called on the ICAO to “take all necessary measures to ensure that Israel complies with international standards”.
Misto said the committee had been in touch with Israel’s civil aviation authority, and “informed them that the decision to operate the airport should not be taken unilaterally until all outstanding matters are resolved”.
Jordan “reserves all options to ensure the defense of the kingdom’s interests and protection”, he added.
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