The Eighth Civil Aviation Conference

Link to the conference program, Video and pictures


This year too, the annual international Civil Aviation Conference was held by the Fisher Institute in cooperation with the Israeli Civil Aviation Authority. The main issues in the conference held on November 2015 were Aviation, Economy and Eco-friendliness and they were taken up throughout two interesting, exceptional sessions.

As always, the first session dealt with issues of flight safety and it was dedicated to the memory of BG Raffi Harlev, one of the Institute founders and its first CEO.

The conference enjoyed the presence – and lectures – of highly respected guests from the aviation industry around the world and in Israel.

The conference opened with the address of guest of honor, Israel Katz, MK, minister of transportation and road safety who surveyed his achievements in the domain of public aviation and the development of airports and harbors.

The principal guest lecture by Mr. Raymond Benjamin, until recently the general secretary of ICAO, clarified – inter alia – that aviation has no such thing as a state of ‘zero risk’. It should be understood, one has to prepare for it, be able to contain it and draw lessons.

Mr. Joe Sultana, the Eurocontrol deputy director general for control of flight lanes presented the chain of events and immediate effects in aviation lanes in Eastern Europe and Asia at the shooting down of the Malaysian plane in Ukraine’s air space and the lessons learned from its interception. He made clear that the responsibility for the safety of those who fly in the civil lanes of the country in whose air space those lanes cross.

Dr. Menachem Gelbard presented the work done by his team, together with the Fisher Institute following the tragedy of the German Wings pilot’s suicide; they look for ways of selecting candidates while controlling and monitoring the mental state of commercial air crews, in order to avoid or at least to lessen the chances such an incident recurs.

Airbus representative, Daniel Carnelly, and the IAI’s representative, Zvi Shtayman, gave us a glimpse at the planning concepts of the planes of the future emphasizing eco-friendliness – noise prevention, cutting down gas emissions, saving fuel and advanced propulsion.

The director of airports surrounding Paris (Aeroports de Paris), Frank Goldnadel, reviewed the planning and operational challenges of those major airports he managed. Environmentally updated solutions must be given for the traffic of planes and passengers: use of solar energy, water purification, electric propulsion for vehicles and direct contact with inhabitants living in the vicinity of airports.

Prof. Stelian Gelberg who is in charge of preventing noise and radiation in the Israeli environment ministry presented the constraints that the proximate environment puts on the planning and operation of airports.

Following an appraisal of the state of various aviation infrastructures in Israel, looking ahead to the opening of the Ramon airport in Timna and in view of the closure of inland airfields  Mr.Udi BarOz, the representative of Airport Authority and Mr. Moti Shmueli, the representative of Civil Aviation Authority gave a us a sneak-preview of the future taking shape with the Ramat David airfield becoming an international airport named Galil and in view of the increase in demand for flying and tourist services.

The economist Dr. Zeev Rotem tried to give an answer to the question ’who needs aviation?’ while examining the contribution of aviation with its commercial and employment aspects to the national product and comparing it with countries around the world. He thinks aviation is needed; we do, too!

The state of aviation, as they see it, was brought to the conference by Captain Dr. Yossi Shub, president of the pilots’ association ISRALPA and Mr. Shai Popper, president of the general aviation association.

Dr Nili Mandelblit presented for the first time ISERD which assists in gaining access to generous European research budgets for studies that will serve the ‘voices calling from Europe’ within the framework of the Horizon 2020 program and the SESAR program.

In conclusion, the CAA director talked of the state of civil aviation in Israel, reviewed the state of airports and helipads and explained – among other things – why the shutdown of Sde Dov is a real threat to Eilat and its tourist resources since it will reduce the traffic of air transport users by 30 percent.

The conference which opened with reading of excerpts from Jonathan Livingston Seagull by El Al Captain Itzik Garber was concluded by the Fisher Institute Chairman, MG (res.) Herzle Bodinger who praised the conference contents and the way it was conducted.


Supporters and contributors

The conference could not have taken place without the generosity of our  partners and friends in the civil aviation industry such as Boeing, Airports Authority, Israir, KAL and El Al, IAI, Elbit Systems, XSIGHT and IATA, and as usual we had the cooperation of FSF-MED and its Cyprus director Christos Petrou.

See you again at the next conference, in November 2016. 

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