King Abdulaziz International Airport
Found in: Airports in Saudi Arabia
King Abdulaziz International Airport is an aviation facility located in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Named after King Abdulaziz Al Saud, the airport is Saudi Arabia's third largest air facility.
Construction for the airport began in 1974. It was finalized in 1980. Finally, on May 31, 1981, the airport opened for services.
Because of Jeddah's closeness to Mecca, the airport stands for one feature in particular: The Hajj Terminal is to be used only during the Hajj season, and it caters to Makkah bound passengers only. Airlines that have used the Hajj terminal, apart from those airlines from Islamic countries, include Air France and World Airways, the latter from the United States.
The north terminal is used by the various international airlines that fly into this airport. The south terminal used to be reserved for Saudi Arabian Airlines flights only; as of 2007 Nas Air and Sama Airlines also use the terminal. King Abdulaziz International Airport is the main hub of Saudi Arabian Airlines.
The Hajj Terminal, the one used by Muslim pilgrims, is estimated to be, at five million square feet , the world's fourth largest air terminal, after Hong Kong International Airport's, Bangkok Suvarnabhumi International Airport's, and Seoul Incheon International Airport's terminal. It sits over 100 acres of ground area, and it is known for its tent-shaped roof. Terminal 3's roof is not actually a tent, but a white colored fiberglass. This terminal has a mosque, and it can accommodate 80,000 travelers at the same time.
Writer R.E.G. Davies, who called Riyadh's King Khaled International Airport "The World's Most Beautiful Airport", compared King Abdulaziz International Airport to the former airport architecture-wise.
For a long period, Trans World Airlines was the only American airline to offer scheduled services to this airport; as of 2005, no major American airline offers services to King Abdulaziz International Airport.
Over 10 million passengers use King Abdulaziz International Airport every year. [*]
Airlines and destinations
Afriqiyah Airways (Tripoli)
Air Arabia (Sharjah)
Air Blue [planned]
Air France (Paris-Charles de Gaulle)
Alexandria Airlines (Alexandria)
AMC Airlines (Alexandria-Borg el Arab)
Ariana Afghan Airlines (Kabul) [starting in summer 2008]
Austrian Airlines (Vienna)
Biman Bangladesh Airlines
China Southern Airlines
Cyprus Airways (Larnaca)
*EgyptAir operated by EgyptAir Express
Eritrean Airlines (Asmara)
Etihad Airways (Abu Dhabi)
Ethiopian Airlines (Addis Ababa)
Iran Air (Tehran-Imam Khomeini)
Jubba Airways (Mogadishu)
Kuwait Airways (Kuwait City)
Libyan Airlines (Tripoli)
Malaysia Airlines (Kuala Lumpur)
Middle East Airlines (Beirut)
Oman Air (Muscat)
Orient Thai Airlines
Pakistan International Airlines
Palestinian Airlines (Gaza)
Qatar Airways (Doha)
Royal Air Maroc (Casablanca)
Royal Jordanian (Amman)
Nas Air (Saudi Arabia)
Saudi Arabian Airlines
New Airlines and Routes
Air Deccan (Hyderabad) (starts later half of 2008)
Lion Air (Jakarta) (begins mid 2009)
Many airlines from the world use this terminal on a charter service, apart from Saudi Arabian, during the Hajj season.
New Jeddah International Airport
The new development will take place in three stages starting September 2006, the first of which could be completed in five years. Four new terminal buildings, a high-speed rail link and a capacity for up to 80 million passengers a year are among the targets proposed for the new Jeddah international airport.
The project is designed to increase the airports capacity initially from 13 million passengers by 30 million passengers each year. The expansion includes airfield hard standing and paved areas, lighting, fuel network systems and storm water drainage network. There will also be a newly constructed support services building, renovation of the existing South and North Terminals and upgrades to the existing runway and airfield systems to accommodate the Airbus A380.
The three stages, according to the Civil Aviation Authority, will be marked by an increase of capacity to 30 million, 60 million, and eventually 80 million passengers per year. Based on current traffic increase, the existing South Terminal will need to serve about 21 million passengers per year over the next 20 years to meet growing demand. During the 2000 Haj season it received 2.6 million travelers and around one million pilgrims. The airport has to provide the facilities required for the service of pilgrims and those who visit the country to perform Umrah.
The project has reached the final stages of planning and design and Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah has approved a budget of SR4 billion to build the futuristic new airport to international standards.
Abdullah Al-Rehaimy, president of the Civil Aviation Authority, has said that the project will be built by local companies.
The four new crescent-shaped passenger halls will be located to the south of the current international terminal which will be undergoing renovation at the same time.
Talal Saaty, speaking at a presentation of the project to Jeddah Governor Prince Mishaal ibn Majed, said that work on the improvements could start as early as this coming September. Operational capacity for the airport, he said, would increase, and denied that upgrading work would hamper traffic throughput. Work on renewing and upgrading the facilities, he said, would be timed to avoid peak traffic flow.
Access to the new terminals is still in the planning and purchasing stage. An extension of Prince Majed Street will make access direct and easy; the municipality is currently investigating the location of land needed for the proposed extension and is addressing the problem of the compulsory purchase of property and compensation.
Southward, Prince Majed Street will connect to the Al-Laith Highway, forming a fast north-south transit route.
As well as much improved road access, plans have been made for a high-speed rail link serving the airport. Starting at Prince Majed Street, the link will run into the airport and hook up with terminals.
Prince Sultan Aviation Academy
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article King Abdulaziz International Airport