Ben Gurion Airport is the largest and most widely known airport in Israel.

Location of Ben Gurion Airport

While the airport is known for being in Tel Aviv and has the airport code of TLV, it is actually in Lod, around 28 miles northwest of Jerusalem and 12 miles southeast of Tel Aviv. This location makes it ideally located in the middle of the country and the middle of its two largest cities.

History of Ben Gurion Airport

Ben Gurion Airport started as a project during the British Mandate in 1934 as just two unpaved runways. In 1935 passenger flights began, mostly in regional flights, including to Cairo and  to Baghdad.

Durring World War 2, the region was still under the British Mandate and therefore was utilized by the Royal Air Force in support of efforts in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East, being renamed “RAF Station Lydda”. The British would give up the airport in 1948 once the war had ended and peace was fully restored.

The first transatlantic flight took place in 1946 to New York City by the famed Trans World Airlines, widely known as TWA.

In 1948, one month after the British has released control of the air strip, the newly formed IDF took control in an operation known as “Operation Danny” and renamed the airport “Lod Airport” for the town it was near. That year 40,000 people went through the terminal, but within four years the number rose to over one million!

The airport would remain Lod airport until 1973 when it was changed to Ben Gurion in honor of Israel’s first prime minister.

Ben Gurion Airport Today

Ben Gurion airport today is today one of the most well known international airports in the world. In 2019, nearly 25 million people passed through the airport. Due to the ongoing CoVid-19 pandemic, the previously record breaking numbers of 2019 fell to nearly nothing as international travel has been heavily restricted.

Airlines at Ben Gurion Airport

There are many airlines that serve those traveling through Ben Gurion Airport. These include El Al, Ryanair, United Arlines, American Airlines, Delta, KLM, AirFrance, British Airways, Lufthansa, Turkish Air, LOT and many others.

Security in Ben Gurion Airport

Ben Gurion airport is known the world over for being one of the most secure airports in the entire world. Due to the increased threats towards Israel, special interest  and care have been taken to ensure safety for all those who travel by air in and out of Israel.

Depending on the airline you take to enter Israel, you may undergo questioning by Israeli agents before boarding the airplane. Once you arrive, you will be ushered into passport control, where you will be asked in detail about your intent and plans within the nation before being granted admission into the country.

Many are surprised that when they present their passport they don’t get a stamp from Israel within the pages of their passport. Instead they are given a small piece of paper granting access. This is done for the safety of those entering the nation, as other countries may not allow you to enter with an Israeli stamp.

Once you are approved you will pass into the baggage claim area. When you travel with Immnauel Tours, you will be met at the baggage claim area by an Immanuel Tours representative to welcome and assist you meeting the bus.

When you depart for home, you will be asked to go through more advanced security than you may be used to. You will be asked a series of question about your time in Israel and about yourself. Just answer honestly and you will be fine. If you are questioned for an extended amount of time, please remain calm and realize that they are just trying to keep everyone safe. If you are honest and calm, you have nothing to worry about and will soon be at your gate waiting for your flight.

Ben Gurion Airport Services

Like many other airports, Ben Gurion Airport has amenities to help keep your time in the airport comfortable. There are several places to eat or get a cup of coffee or cold beverage. You also can have a last chance to buy gifts and souvenirs at shops in the airport.


We hope to be able to greet you in the baggage claim as you begin your journey very soon! Please contact one of our friendly and helpful tour operators about your future tour today!