British interwar airspace in the Middle East: The forgotten airport of Lydda

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Airports provide an essential infrastructure for the production of airspace by facilitating networks of aero mobility. This study considers the case of Lydda airport in Mandatory Palestine. Promoted in the 1930's as a hub for British civil aviation on its India route, Lydda airport is largely absent from the inter-war history of civil aviation although the site would become the location of the present-day Ben-Gurion International Airport. The study finds that while British decision-makers initially trumped the attempts of Jewish settlers to locate the country's inter-continental airport in Tel-Aviv rather than at Lydda, sustained pressure and an anti-colonial Arab Revolt compromised that decision. The tension between imperial trans-continental priorities and domestic ambitions were translated in Palestine into two separate and partially competing neighbouring airports.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-33
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Historical Geography
StatePublished - Apr 2022


  • Airports
  • Airspace
  • Aviation
  • Colonialism
  • Imperialism
  • Infrastructure
  • Mandatory Palestine


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