Jordan, Egypt and Israel have reached an agreement in principle to ease air traffic congestion between them, director of the Civil Aviation Authority Jihad Irsheid was quoted as saying in Al Rai newspaper on Friday.
He said the agreement would involve setting up an air traffic control centre to monitor congestion affecting the area over the Red Sea Gulf of Aqaba and off the coasts of Egypt, Israel and Jordan.
A location for this centre has yet to be decided, Irsheid told the Arabic-language newspaper.
Al Rai, quoting unspecified reports, said Israel was opposed to allowing foreign airlines to use its airspace when flying in and out of Jordan, arguing that this posed a threat to Israeli military flights.
Israel, therefore, suggested moving an air corridor between Israel, Jordan and Egypt south of the Israeli Red Sea resort of Eilat, the newspaper said.
Analysts quoted by Al Rai said Israel hoped that a comprehensive peace in the region would open the skies to its airlines. Israel, Egypt and Jordan are bound by peace treaties. Jordan and Israel operate civilian airports in Aqaba and Eilat, respectively, overlooking the Gulf of Aqaba, while Egypt has one at Sharm El Sheikh in the Sinai Peninsula.
The three airports see regular traffic mostly from charter planes bringing tourists to these popular diving destinations. – (AFP)
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