Israel to ban Boeing 747s

Israel will ban Boeing 747 and similar aircraft with four engines as of 31 March 2023 to reduce noise and air pollution, its airports authority said over the weekend.

As part of a broader plan under development to improve the surrounding environment, the authority said that it had already told airlines they would not be able to land large airplanes at Ben Gurion Airport near Tel Aviv as of the 2023 summer season.

The directive is mainly for cargo aircraft since most, it not all, carriers have stopped using 747 and other four-engine planes on routes to Israel.

Flag carrier El Al has already retired its fleet of 747s and uses twin-engine Boeing 777 and 787 planes on long-haul routes. Competitors also use those Boeing planes or comparable Airbus ones to Ben Gurion, although the 747s are still used by some for cargo.

Operation of aircraft with four engines will be allowed in exceptional cases and only with a special permit.

Director general of the Israel Airports Authority, Hagai Topolansky said: “The increase in passenger and aircraft traffic at Ben Gurion Airport is an environmental challenge.”

“I intend to lead the Airports Authority and Ben Gurion Airport not only in the fields of digitisation but also to lead the environment and sustainability in the world of aviation, stopping the landing of 4-engine planes at Ben Gurion Airport is one step and the first step in a broader plan that is currently being formulated.”