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June 30, 2016 / 24 Sivan, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Ben Gurion International Airport’

Israel Gives Security Lessons to Airport Security Execs

Thursday, June 2nd, 2016

Israel may be a pariah on the world stage when it comes to votes in the United Nations, but “secretly” it is apparently a great leader when it comes to keeping a country’s population safe. Security personnel have been streaming into Israel for years already to learn the ABC’s of keeping their countries safe, starting, of course, with the gateways to their nations — the airport.

Now, in light of the recent crash of EgyptAir flight MS804 and worldwide terror attacks, it’s no surprise to find airport executives from 40 nations are set to arrive in Israel next month.

The international airport representatives will arrive at Ben Gurion International Airport – one of the world’s safest – where they will learn first-hand about creative security procedures.

Since 1972, there has not been a single hijacking incident from Israel. But unless you’re very, very watchful, you would not notice the numerous security layers through which every individual passes at the airport. As such, security at BGI doesn’t disrupt the flow of traffic, nor does it do much to bother the traveler passing through the terminal.

The BGI Airport Security Operations Center, for example, is the heartbeat of the airport, monitoring every flight and checking the background of every passenger and flight crew member who is to pass through Israeli air space. Red-flagged individuals merit special attention and there are at least ten of those per day, according to a report by The Tower, quoting CNN.

But you’d never know it – in fact, one cannot even find it.

Earlier this year Israel also issued an additional security directive to airlines that fly to the Jewish State in order to address other potential threats such as the terrorists who recently were responsible for bringing down a Russian airliner last year in the Sinai Peninsula.

Those include insiders working at airports and resorts with access to passengers’ luggage.

Or, for that matter, airline personnel and cabin crew themselves, such as the depressed Germanwings co-pilot who became suicidal while flying a passenger plane. He took an entire aircraft filled with passengers along with him into death in March 2015.

Israeli security methods work partly because the system is flexible and responsive to dynamic situations, according to aviation security expert Shalom Dolev, who spoke with CNN.

By the time a passenger has reached an airline check-in counter, that individual has probably already passed up to five security checks, usually noticing only three: the initial entry point at the gate, the security check to allow the passenger in to the line for check-in, and the security officer who asks the “annoying questions that make no sense” before one reaches the check-in counter.

When those 40 airport executives leave Israel, they too will understand those “annoying questions” a little better — and perhaps begin to implement similar strategies in their own nations.

Hana Levi Julian

German Traveler to Dubai Finds Himself on Flight to Tel Aviv

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2016

A Muslim German national on vacation traveling with Pegasus Airlines flew from Germany to Dubai Monday night, but somehow found himself landing at Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv.

The incident has never happened before – but it is extremely serious because it might have ended quite differently, with an Israeli passenger landing instead in an enemy nation.

The bearded, black-haired 30-year-old passenger first landed in Istanbul where he was to catch a connecting flight to Dubai. He transferred his luggage for the next leg of the journey, according to a report posted on the Hebrew-language Ynet site, then proceeded to make the connection to his next flight with a carry-on bag – or so he believed.

It is not clear how he passed through all security and airline inspections with his ticket, which clearly was marked with Dubai as his final destination. In fact, he remained totally unaware of the error until the on-board announcement the plane was approaching its destination in Tel Aviv.

At that point, he jumped up, completely startled, and called the flight attendant to show her his ticket. After checking it with the flight manager, she confirmed that it was “certainly a mistake, you are not on the correct flight – but this is your own problem and you will have to pay for a return flight.”

Israeli passengers seated nearby immediately intervened, speaking with the agitated passenger and with the flight attendant, insisting that it was the airline’s mistake and he did not have to pay anything at all.

Upon landing, Israeli security officials came to the plane to interview the passenger, and after confirming the error and his veracity, took him off the plane, checked his bags, and put him on a flight back to Istanbul.

Pegasus Airlines said in a statement: “The incident is under investigation, and it is believed that due to the fact that two flights were close together, it is possible that the passenger passed inspection for Dubai, but got on the wrong bus for the passenger aircraft, instead boarding that which led to the flight to Tel Aviv.”

Hana Levi Julian

Israeli Air Force Jets Scramble to Escort EgyptAir Plane

Saturday, April 23rd, 2016

Two Israeli fighter jets were scrambled Saturday morning when an Egyptian passenger plane entered Israeli airspace without identification and did not respond to communication attempts.

The EgyptAir flight originated in Cairo but apparently strayed from the flight plan for an unknown reason. The IAF fighter jets escorted the plane to Ben Gurion International Airport without difficulty and its passengers disembarked.

After a preliminary investigation both the plane and its passengers returned to Cairo.

Last month an Egyptian national hijacked a domestic EgyptAir flight, forcing the pilot to fly to Lanarca International Airport in Cyprus. The hijacker demanded to see his estranged wife, who lived near the airport, and asked for political asylum in the country.

Israel Air Force fighter jets were briefly scrambled during that incident as well.

Hana Levi Julian

El Al Plane Diverts to Athens After Fumes Reported in Galley

Wednesday, March 30th, 2016

An El Al passenger plane en route to Tel Aviv from Madrid, Spain diverted from its scheduled route shortly after takeoff Wednesday afternoon.

El Al LY-396 was traveling with 94 people on board when it diverted to Athens after the crew reported fumes originating from a galley.

The Boeing 737-900 aircraft landed safely on the runway at Athens International Airport about 18 minutes later, according to a report on The Aviation Herald website.

The aircraft remained on the ground for about three hours, then continued the journey. It was estimated to reach Tel Aviv with a delay of about four hours.

Hana Levi Julian

Islamic Jihad Terrorist is Alleged ‘SuperHacker’ Into Israeli Aerial Systems

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2016

An operative with the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) terrorist organization has been indicted on a host of charges relating to his ability to hack into military and civilian computer systems.

Known as the “computer administrator” of the PIJ, the suspect was recruited by the terrorist group in 2001 while working as a radio broadcaster. According to a statement released Wednesday by the Shin Bet domestic intelligence agency, the alleged hacker was indicted on charges of “espionage, conspiracy to pass information to an enemy, hacking computer material, and more.”

The suspect also holds the position of chairman in the “Palestinian Talent Society.” He was arrested February 23 while traveling to meet with young candidates from the Palestinian Authority for a television vocalist competition.

He allegedly managed to hack into IDF drones flying over Gaza, according to the charges filed in the indictment. He also allegedly succeeded in accessing the data on unmanned aerial vehicles flown by the IDF over the region. In addition, the hacker allegedly gave the data and footage produced by the cameras on the drones to his handlers.

Moreover, the hacker was allegedly able to access footage from highway cameras inside Israel. Through his ability to access information, the terrorist was able to obtain data on deployment of Israeli security forces and civilian personnel during rocket strikes and wars in Gaza, according to the indictment.

The suspect also allegedly developed an application that compiled data on movement of aircraft at Ben Gurion International Airport. The application is said to have provided data on passenger lists, plane types and weights, and arrival and departures times.

Hana Levi Julian

Israel Okays Incoming Flights from Europe

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2016

Israel unlocked its temporary ban on incoming flights from Europe at about 12 noon on Tuesday following a massive terror attack at the departure hall of Zaventem Airport in Brussels a few hours earlier.

However, it is not clear whether the incoming flights will be allowed by the local airports to depart, depending on the various security restrictions currently in place. In addition, there may be restrictions on which air space may be used in flights out of Europe due to the security situation.

Israel had issued a temporary ban on all incoming flights from Europe in the wake of a massive explosion shortly after 8 am near the American Airlines desk at the departure hall of Belgium’s Zaventem Airport in Brussels.

The ban had been scheduled for 10:30 am until midnight (Tues. Mar. 22), at least until the security situation was clear.

Outgoing flights from Israel to Europe were not affected by the security measure.

The Israel Aviation Authority (IAA) opened a situation room at Ben Gurion International Airport to manage the ongoing crisis and help keep airline passengers updated.

Passengers were asked to have patience with the extra security measures and to check the schedule board at the airport for updates.

Three flights were set to arrive in Israel today from Brussels. According to the IAA, a total of 24 flights were affected by the ban.

Hana Levi Julian

Monarch Airlines to Start Flying Tel Aviv to Manchester, England

Wednesday, December 23rd, 2015

British carrier Monarch Airlines is launching a new route from Tel Aviv to Manchester three times a week, starting next April.

The airline has already begun to book seats for the flights, which will take place on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.

Earlier this month, Monarch began flying three times a week flying to Ben Gurion International Airport from Luton Airport, near London.

The airline also flies once a week each Thursday from Ovda Airport near Eilat to Luton Airport as well.

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/monarch-airlies-to-start-flying-tel-aviv-to-manchester-england/2015/12/23/

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