King Abdulaziz International Airport
Overview
 
King Abdulaziz International Airport (KAIA) is an aviation
Aviation
Aviation is the design, development, production, operation, and use of aircraft, especially heavier-than-air aircraft. Aviation is derived from avis, the Latin word for bird.-History:...

 facility located 19 km to the north of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Named after King Abdulaziz Al Saud
Ibn Saud of Saudi Arabia
King Abdul-Aziz of Saudi Arabia was the first monarch of the Third Saudi State known as Saudi Arabia. He was commonly referred to as Ibn Saud....

, the airport is Saudi Arabia's third largest air facility and busiest airport by passenger. The airport occupies an area of 15 square kilometers. Beside the airport proper, this includes a royal terminal, facilities of the Royal Saudi Air Force, and housing facilities for the airport staff.

Construction work on KAIA airport began in 1974, and was finalized in 1980.
Encyclopedia
King Abdulaziz International Airport (KAIA) is an aviation
Aviation
Aviation is the design, development, production, operation, and use of aircraft, especially heavier-than-air aircraft. Aviation is derived from avis, the Latin word for bird.-History:...

 facility located 19 km to the north of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Named after King Abdulaziz Al Saud
Ibn Saud of Saudi Arabia
King Abdul-Aziz of Saudi Arabia was the first monarch of the Third Saudi State known as Saudi Arabia. He was commonly referred to as Ibn Saud....

, the airport is Saudi Arabia's third largest air facility and busiest airport by passenger. The airport occupies an area of 15 square kilometers. Beside the airport proper, this includes a royal terminal, facilities of the Royal Saudi Air Force, and housing facilities for the airport staff.

Construction work on KAIA airport began in 1974, and was finalized in 1980. Finally, on May 31, 1981, the airport opened for service after having been officially inaugurated in April 1981.

Because of Jeddah's closeness to Islam's holy city of Mecca
Mecca
Mecca is a city in the Hijaz and the capital of Makkah province in Saudi Arabia. The city is located inland from Jeddah in a narrow valley at a height of above sea level...

/Makkah, the airport stands for one feature in particular: the Hajj Terminal specially built to handle foreign pilgrims destined for Makkah to take part in the rituals associated with the annual Hajj
Hajj
The Hajj is the pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia. It is one of the largest pilgrimages in the world, and is the fifth pillar of Islam, a religious duty that must be carried out at least once in their lifetime by every able-bodied Muslim who can afford to do so...

. Many airlines from Muslim and non-Muslim countries have used the Hajj Terminal, providing the capacity needed to carry pilgrims to Saudi Arabia. It was designed by Fazlur Rahman Khan of the architectural firm Skidmore, Owings and Merrill LLP (SOM) and engineered by Horst Berger
Horst Berger
Horst Berger is a structural engineer and designer known for his work with lightweight tensile architecture. After receiving a degree in Civil Engineering in 1954 from Stuttgart University in Stuttgart, Germany, he began working in 1955 at the Bridge and Special Structures Department of Wayss and...

 while at Geiger Berger Associates
Geiger Engineers
Geiger Engineers is a structural engineering consulting firm located northwest of New York City. Founded in 1988 by the late David H. Geiger , the company has worked on large projects throughout the world...

.

The North Terminal at Jeddah airport is used by all foreign airlines. The South Terminal was reserved for the exclusive use of Saudi Arabian Airlines
Saudi Arabian Airlines
Saudi Arabian Airlines is the flag carrier airline of Saudi Arabia, based in Jeddah. It operates domestic and international scheduled flights to over 90 destinations in the Middle East, Africa, Asia, Europe and North America...

 until 2007, when the privately owned Saudi carriers Nas Air
Nas Air (Saudi Arabia)
Nas Air , a subsidiary of the National Air Services , is a Saudi Arabian domestic low-cost airline. The company's head office is located on the first floor of the Al Salam Centre in Riyadh...

 and Sama Airlines
Sama Airlines
Sama LelTayaran Company Limited, operating as Sama, was a Saudi low-cost airline based at King Fahad International Airport, Dammam operating scheduled flights within Saudi Arabia and the Middle East. The airline's registered address was in Riyadh....

 were also given permission to use it. Jeddah-KAIA airport serves as a major hub for Saudi Arabian Airlines.

The Jeddah airport Hajj Terminal is estimated to be, at five million square feet (465,000 m²), among the world's largest air terminals after Beijing Capital International Airport
Beijing Capital International Airport
Beijing Capital International Airport, is the main international airport serving Beijing, China. It is located northeast of Beijing's city center in an enclave of Chaoyang District that is surrounded by rural Shunyi District. The airport is owned and operated by the Beijing Capital...

, Dubai International Airport
Dubai International Airport
Dubai International Airport is an international airport serving Dubai, the largest city of the United Arab Emirates. It is a major aviation hub in the Middle East, and is the main airport of Dubai. It is situated in the Al Garhoud district, southeast of Dubai...

 and Hong Kong International Airport
Hong Kong International Airport
Hong Kong International Airport is the main airport in Hong Kong. It is colloquially known as Chek Lap Kok Airport , being built on the island of Chek Lap Kok by land reclamation, and also to distinguish it from its predecessor, the closed Kai Tak Airport.The airport opened for commercial...

. It covers over 100 acres (405,000 m²) and is known for its tent-shaped roof. Terminal 3's roof is not actually a tent, but a white
White
White is a color, the perception of which is evoked by light that stimulates all three types of color sensitive cone cells in the human eye in nearly equal amounts and with high brightness compared to the surroundings. A white visual stimulation will be void of hue and grayness.White light can be...

 colored fiberglass
Fiberglass
Glass fiber is a material consisting of numerous extremely fine fibers of glass.Glassmakers throughout history have experimented with glass fibers, but mass manufacture of glass fiber was only made possible with the invention of finer machine tooling...

. The Hajj Terminal offers pilgrims many facilities, including a mosque, and can accommodate 80,000 travelers at the same time.

New King Abdulaziz International Airport Project

The new development is taking place in three stages starting in September 2006, and currently scheduled for completion in 2014. Three 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 a new airport.
The project is designed to increase the airport’s 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 GACA – the General Authority of Civil Aviation of Saudi Arabia
General Authority of Civil Aviation
The General Authority Of Civil Aviation of Saudi Arabia is the national institution of Saudi Arabia in charge of aviation and related matters, headquartered in Jeddah....

, will be marked by staged capacity increase to 30mn / 60mn and 80mn passengers per year. Based on current traffic increases, the existing South Terminal will need to serve about 21 million passengers per year over the next 20 years to meet growing demand.
The project has reached the final stages of planning and design, and King Abdullah
Abdullah of Saudi Arabia
Abdullah bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, is the King of Saudi Arabia. He succeeded to the throne on 1 August 2005 upon the death of his half-brother, King Fahd. When Crown Prince, he governed Saudi Arabia as regent from 1998 to 2005...

, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques
Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques
Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques , a historical term, was a pious title taken by the Ayyubids, the Mamluk Sultans of Egypt, and the Ottoman Sultans; it has been revived by modern Saudi kings.-Saudi monarchy:...

 has approved a budget of SR4 billion to build the futuristic new airport to international standards.

Abdullah Al-Rehaimy, president of the General Authority of Civil Aviation, has said that the project will be built by local companies.

The three 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.

Airlines and destinations

Notes

bmi
Bmi (airline)
British Midland Airways Limited , is an airline based at Donington Hall in Castle Donington in the United Kingdom, close to East Midlands Airport, and a fully owned subsidiary of Lufthansa...

 service LHR to JED is routed via Riyadh, however they do not have rights to transport passengers between Riyadh and Jeddah
.

Cathay Pacific
Cathay Pacific
Cathay Pacific is the flag carrier of Hong Kong, with its head office and main hub located at Hong Kong International Airport, although the airline's registered office is on the 33rd floor of One Pacific Place...

 service HKG to JED is routed via Dubai and Abu Dhabi, however they do not have rights to transport passengers between Dubai/Abu Dhabi and Jeddah.
.

China Southern service PEK to JED is routed via Dubai, however they do not have rights to transport passengers between Dubai and Jeddah. .

Lufthansa
Lufthansa
Deutsche Lufthansa AG is the flag carrier of Germany and the largest airline in Europe in terms of overall passengers carried. The name of the company is derived from Luft , and Hansa .The airline is the world's fourth-largest airline in terms of overall passengers carried, operating...

 service FRA to JED continues onto Asmara and Khartoum, however they do not have rights to transport passengers between Jeddah and Asmara or Khartoum
.

Lufthansa
Lufthansa
Deutsche Lufthansa AG is the flag carrier of Germany and the largest airline in Europe in terms of overall passengers carried. The name of the company is derived from Luft , and Hansa .The airline is the world's fourth-largest airline in terms of overall passengers carried, operating...

 service MUC to JED is routed via Riyadh, however they do not have rights to transport passengers between Riyadh and Jeddah
.

Singapore Airlines
Singapore Airlines
Singapore Airlines Limited is the flag carrier airline of Singapore. Singapore Airlines operates a hub at Changi Airport and has a strong presence in the Southeast Asia, East Asia, South Asia, and "Kangaroo Route" markets...

 service SIN to JED is routed via Abu Dhabi, however they do not have rights to transport passengers between Abu Dhabi and Jeddah
.

Somon Air
Somon Air
Somon Air is the first private airline company in Tajikistan, and is based at Dushanbe Airport. The airline started operating on February 5, 2008 with regular flights to Moscow and further to Dubai...

 service DYU to JED is routed via Dubai, however they do not have rights to transport passengers between Dubai and Jeddah
.

Toumai Air Tchad
Toumaï Air Tchad
Toumaï Air Chad is the national flag carrier airline of Chad. It operates domestic services within Chad as well as scheduled international services to other African nations. Its main base is N'Djamena International Airport. International flights appear to have been operated by primarily South...

 service NDJ to JED continues onto Dubai, however they do not have rights to transport passengers between Jeddah and Dubai
.

Cargo

Statistics

Over 17 million passengers use Jeddah-KAIA airport every year.
Statistics for King Abdulaziz International Airport
Year Total Passengers Total Aircraft Movements Total Cargo (tonnes)
1998 9,716,000 85,613
1999 10,149,000 88,701
2000 10,465,000 88,531
2001 10,237,000 86,438
2002 10,849,000 86,453
2003 11,248,000 88,433
2004 12,257,000 93,685
2005 13,239,000 98,986
2006 13,265,000 107,740
2007 14,356,000 122,266
2008 17,644,000 138,599
2009 17,757,000 142,505
2010 17,891,364 146,365 231,730

Incidents and accidents

  • On 25 September 1959, a Saudi Arabian Airlines reg HZ-AAF Douglas DC-4/C-54A-5-DO
    Douglas DC-4
    The Douglas DC-4 is a four-engined propeller-driven airliner developed by the Douglas Aircraft Company. It served during World War II, in the Berlin Airlift and into the 1960s in a military role...

     crashed shortly after take-off from Jeddah. The cause of the accident was pilot error
    Pilot error
    Pilot error is a term used to describe the cause of an accident involving an airworthy aircraft where the pilot is considered to be principally or partially responsible...

     followed by a stall. All 67 passengers and 5 crew survived.
  • On 11 July 1991, Nationair Flight 2120
    Nigeria Airways Flight 2120
    Nigeria Airways Flight 2120 refers to a Douglas DC-8-61, registration C-GMXQ, owned by the Canadian company Nolisair and wet-leased to Nigeria Airways, which in turn sub-leased the aircraft to another company to transport Nigerian pilgrims to and from Mecca, that crashed at King Abdulaziz...

    , a Douglas DC-8-61 suffered cabin pressure problems followed by a fire due to a failed landing gear. The pilots tried to return to the airport but failed to reach the airport as the plane crashed killing all 247 passengers and 14 crew.
  • On 1 March 2004, PIA Flight 2002, an Airbus A300B4-200 burst 2 tires whilst taking off from King Abdulaziz International Airport. Fragments of the tire were ingested by the engines, this caused the engines to catch fire and an aborted takeoff was performed. Due to the fire substantial damage to the engine and the left wing caused the aircraft to be written off. All 261 passengers and 12 crew survived.

External links

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