Ben Gurion International Airport, Namal HaTe' fa Ben G ry n, (IATA: TLV, ICAO: LLBG), also referred to by its Hebrew acronym Natba, is the largest and busiest international airport in Israel, with over 11.5 million passengers in 2008. It was named the best airport in the Middle East by the ACI organisation. The airport was initially known as "Wilhelma Airport" when it was built in 1936 in what was then the British Mandate of Palestine. When the State of Israel came into existence on 14 May 1948, the airport's name was changed from Lydda to Lod. The airport was renamed Ben Gurion International Airport in 1973 to honour Israel's first Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion. The airport is located near the city of Lod, 15 km (9 mi) southeast of Tel Aviv. It is operated by the Israel Airports Authority, a government-owned corporation that manages all public airports and border crossings in the State of Israel. Ben Gurion International Airport serves as the home base of El Al, Israir Airlines, Arkia Israel Airlines and Sun d'Or International Airlines.