Saudi pilots soar with stellar skills

Updated 23 June 2015
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Saudi pilots soar with stellar skills

JEDDAH: The airports in Madinah, Taif and Abha are hazardous for landing and takeoff due to their topography, say pilots.

A local publication has quoted a number of flight captains as saying that these airports are challenging.
This has prompted the General Authority for Civil Aviation (GACA) to insist that only professional pilots fly aircraft to and from these airports. “Copilots are prevented by GACA from flying here,” the publication said.
A Saudia pilot spoke about the difficulties faced by pilots flying toward the new Prince Mohammed bin Abdulaziz Airport, which is located between two mountains. “The airport is located on the south side near volcanic areas, which interact with air temperatures in summer and cause imbalances in air density.”
He referred to individual solutions such as communications with the air tower to warn pilots to take a much higher altitude to avoid the volcanic area. “Most pilots are aware of this and are thus capable of avoiding any catastrophe.”
Another pilot referred to the negative effects on the aircraft’s engines because of the variation in air density. “Such situations pose a threat to the flight unless the air navigation crew is well trained to fly aircraft in such conditions.”
A pilot with a Saudi private airliner classified the two airports in Taif and Abha among the airports located at the highest points above sea level. “Abha airport is more than 6,000 feet above mean sea level, and the two airports are surrounded by dangerous mountains.”
He linked the altitude of the airports with the performance of plane engines, saying: “Such airports suffer from the problem of difference in air pressure and oxygen saturation, which in turn have an impact on fuel combustion and engine performance.”
A GACA official said there is no reason to worry about these flights. “All pilots are highly trained to fly to these airports. In any case, civil aviation authorities prevent such flights by copilots. All local and international air crew are fully aware of the air navigation bulletins before the launch of any flight.”


Saudi Arabia praised for services and facilities for Hajj pilgrims

Updated 16 August 2018
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Saudi Arabia praised for services and facilities for Hajj pilgrims

  • Guests laud King Salman’s efforts to unify ranks
  • Tatarstan’s Grand Mufti Sheikh Kamil Ismailov hailed the Kingdom’s efforts to ensure pilgrims’ comfort and safety

MAKKAH: King Salman received thanks from guests at Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Guests Program for welcoming and supporting pilgrims. They also thanked him for hosting them so that they can perform Hajj rituals. 

The king’s guests praised the services provided for them from the moment they arrived in the holy lands. This underscores the depth of the Saudi experience in dealing with crowds and successfully hosting millions of pilgrims each year.

Tatarstan’s Grand Mufti Sheikh Kamil Ismailov hailed the Kingdom’s efforts to ensure pilgrims’ comfort and safety.

“The expansion projects in the Two Holy Mosques and the holy sites, as well as the readiness of all medical and security teams, constitute strong evidence of Saudi Arabia’s capacities and ability to organize and manage the crowds with every Hajj season,” he added.

Ismailov pointed out that Muslims represent 70 percent of the population in Tatarstan, and that it is the first country in the region to adopt Islam as a state religion since 922.

Sheikh Mustafa Jusufspahic, the grand mufti of Belgrade, in Serbia, said that King Salman’s hosting of pilgrims from all over the world continues a tradition of the leadership of this blessed land assisting and unifying Muslims. It continues the path of good and giving by the Kingdom’s leaders toward Islamic work in the world, accounting for its prestigious position in the Muslim world, he added.

Jusufspahic expressed his thanks and appreciation to King Salman for his great gesture that enables Muslims to perform Hajj easily and conveniently. He praised all services offered in the program, which is supervised by the Ministry of Islamic Affairs.

Mohammed Amin, a professor from Ethiopia, who is making his first visit to Makkah, commended King Salman’s invitation to Muslims from all over the globe. He also saidthat the Ethiopian people were well aware of the financial and cultural support provided by the Kingdom.

The imam of the Central Mosque in Ethiopia, Ibrahim Khalil, expressed his admiration for the warm reception he and his delegation received upon their arrival, their speedy entry into the country and the journey to their residence.

Guinean Islamic preacher Mohammed Idris said the infrastructure and the scale of the preparations in Makkah reflect the tremendous efforts from all sectors there. “The Kingdom endeavors to develop organization and management of the Hajj season every year, a fact highly acclaimed among Muslims in Guinea, who consider Saudi Arabia to be the heart of the Islamic world,” he said.

Professor Bassim Berniavorates, from the faculty of medicine at the University of Sarajevo in Bosnia, said he was happy he had the opportunity to perform Hajj for the first time in his life, and was eager to meet Saudi people, to learn about their customs and traditions, and to visit popular markets that reflect the historical richness of Makkah.

He added that the Bosnian people were grateful for Saudi Arabia’s support throughout history, which has enabled them to overcome obstacles and crises and achieve their aspirations in building a civilized and democratic nation.

Bassim, a professor of anesthesia at the University Hospital in Sarajevo, noted that the program helped to extend bridges of communication with the world. “The Bosnians became more familiar with the Saudis and proud of this cultural fusion in the holiest parts of the earth,” said Bassim.

Dr. Mekhtbakh, from the Sports Academy in Kyrgyzstan, said that by visiting the holy land he had achieved a life-long dream. He expressed his thanks and appreciation to King Salman for his generous patronage and keenness to host Muslims from all over the world.