Small plane crashes in Herzliya, injuring two

Mayor wants airport closed, calling it a ‘clear and present danger’

Illustrative photo of the Herzliya Airport, October 2009 (photo credit: Schutzer/Flash90)
Illustrative photo of the Herzliya Airport, October 2009 (photo credit: Schutzer/Flash90)

A light aircraft with four passengers aboard crashed in Herzliya Sunday morning, lightly injuring two.

The injured passengers — a 27-year-old man and a 50-year-old man — received medical treatment at the scene.

The plane landed 150 meters from the Herzliya Airport in a residential area shortly after takeoff. The airport grounded all flights for half-an-hour immediately after the crash to investigate the circumstances. The cause remains unclear.

Following the accident, Moshe Fadlon, the mayor of Herzliya, issued a public appeal to the Minister of Transportation, the Israeli Airports Authority, and the Civil Aviation Authority to close the Herzliya Airport, The Marker reported.

“Only by a miracle did the accident not claim any lives, but we cannot wait for that to happen,” Fadlon said. “This light aircraft crash is not the first time an event like this has happened here, and is further proof that the airport represents a clear and present danger. We must take preventative measures, that is, to close it immediately.”

Hours after Fadlon released his statement, the Israeli Association of General Aviation, responsible for all private aircraft at the Herzliya Airport, dismissed the mayor’s claims.

“Since the inception of the Herzliya Airport, no resident has been injured on the ground as a result of aviation activity and therefore the bizarre and startling statements regarding the ‘clear and present danger’ resulting from the airport are not clear to us. We oppose frightening the public in order to serve real estate interests,” a spokesperson for the group wrote, according to The Marker.

The statement also compared closing the Herzliya Airport, because of Monday’s crash, to shutting down the Ayalon Highway, a major arterial road, following a car accident.

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