I want to tell you the story of Sde Dov, a former Tel Aviv City Airport. Today, when one stands in the middle of the quiet sand dunes, Tel Aviv from the distance looks like an abandoned post-Armageddon place. But this is far from being a true picture! Sde Dov, which will soon become one of the new and very expensive neighborhoods of modern Tel Aviv, is a site of a unique history, dating back over 2,800 years.
Sde Dov today
Located at the heart of Tel Aviv and along the Mediterranean coastline, Tel Aviv Sde Dov Airport used to serve the residents of the city and the surrounding area, as well as having served as a long-time base for the Israeli Air Force (IAF).
The historical decision to build an airport north of the Yarkon River, at the Northern outskirts of 1930-ies Tel Aviv, emanated from the wish to ensure safe airborne traffic between Tel Aviv and other cities of the British Mandate Palestine during the time of the Great Arab Revolt against the British, when travelling from Tel Aviv through Arab territory to the main airport at Lydda (Ben-Gurion International Airport in Lod, today), to catch Palestine Airways flights to Haifa, was difficult and dangerous.
Start of Sde Dov Construction
In 1937, Israel Rokach, the mayor of Tel Aviv at the time, appealed to the British Mandate authorities in order to construct the airport. Sde Dov became a home base of Palestine Airways, private airline founded back in 1934 by Pinhas Rutenberg, who was not only a father of the first Airline in Palestine but also of the Palestinian Electricity Company (Israel Electric Corporation today). In 1940, the airport's name was changed to Sde Dov, in memory of Dov Hoz, one of the pioneers of Jewish aviation.