Israel: Air News April 27, 1998 Share 1 -- Improving service for air passengers both on the ground and in the skies is a priority as Israel faces what are expected to be years of heavy traffic. According to the Israel Ministry of Tourism, plans are being made to minimize congestion at Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion airport, the country's primary facility for international arrivals.Another international airport is being built 20 minutes north of the Red Sea resort city of Eilat, on the border between Israel and Jordan. The Shalom-Salaam airport, whose name uses the Hebrew and Arabic words for peace, is scheduled to be completed by the year 2000.Until the new airport is built, smaller flights will continue to land at Eilat's own airstrip, which is located in the middle of the hotel area.In other news, El Al, Israel's national carrier, designated all its flights between Israel and both the U.S. and Europe as nonsmoking service.This summer, the carrier is inaugurating its Business Communications Center adjacent to the business and first class lounges at Kennedy airport in New York. Its U.S.-Israel route is served by 747-400s with television monitors at each seat. Call: (800) 223-6700 or (212) 768-9200; Web site: www.elal.com.New York-based Tower Air became Israel's top foreign carrier last summer. To accommodate the increasing volume in Israel, all its passengers are processed at the new terminal at Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion airport.At New York's Kennedy airport, Tower offers early check-in services at its terminal plus bus service from two neighborhoods in Brooklyn, N.Y.Tower Air also recently opened a site on the Web. Call (800) 34-TOWER or (718) 553-8500; Web site: www.towerair.com.In February, TWA began operating Boeing 767-300s (replacing its 747s) nonstop between New York (Kennedy) and Tel Aviv.The change increases the number of flights per week as well as the number of seats per plane. Call (800) 275-4892; Web site: www.twa.com.