Ben Gurion Airport
Ben Gurion Airport, commonly known by its Hebrew acronym as Natbag, is the main international airport of Israel and the busiest one in the country. The airport is located on the northern outskirts of the city of Lod, about 45 km northwest of Jerusalem and 20 km southeast of Tel Aviv.
Originally named Lod Airport, it was renamed in 1973 after David Ben-Gurion, Israel’s first Prime Minister. The airport serves as a hub for El Al, Israir Airlines, Arkia, and Sun D’Or and is operated by the Israel Airports Authority – a government-owned corporation that manages all public airports and border crossings in Israel.
In 2019, Ben Gurion handled 24.8 million passengers. The airport is considered to be among the five best airports in the Middle East due to its passenger experience and its high level of security. Security forces such as Israel Police officers, IDF and Israel Border Police soldiers are complemented by airport security guards who operate both in uniform and undercover. The airport has been the target of several terrorist attacks, but no attempt to hijack a plane departing from Ben Gurion airport has ever succeeded.
The airport is of extreme strategic importance to Israel due to it being one of the few convenient entry points to the country for most travelers.