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Takeoff Delays Stir Complaints in Israel

August 25, 1996|REUTERS

Delays in takeoffs at Israel's Ben-Gurion Airport prompted complaints this month from a group representing foreign airlines in Israel.

"We have received complaints from passengers who wait 2 1/2 to three hours . . . until they reach the security inspection," Eli Messer, chairman of the Foreign Airlines Panel, told Israel Radio. "Sometimes we have to leave passengers behind and take off."

Messer blamed a shortage of security personnel. But Shaul Hazan, director of the airport, blamed heavy August passenger traffic put through a single terminal too small to accommodate it. He said a planned new terminal would not be completed before the year 2000.

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