Soft opening of new King Abdul Aziz International Airport in Jeddah set for May

The new King Abdul Aziz International Airport is to be officially opened in 2019.
Updated 15 May 2018
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Soft opening of new King Abdul Aziz International Airport in Jeddah set for May

  • 2018 will be a turning point for transportation services in the Makkah region and in line with Vision 2030

JEDDAH: King Abdul Aziz International Airport is the main gateway to the Two Holy Mosques. The General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) has started to carry out technical tests on the systems of travel and baggage termination, passenger bridges and various electronic systems in the presence of all relevant governmental and private sectors to ensure readiness before the soft opening.

It was decided to postpone the soft opening of the new KAIA to the end of May to conduct further technical testing, to ensure that the safety procedures, equipment and systems related in the new airport are complete.

Turki Al-Thieb, the spokesperson of KAIA, told Arab News: “The soft opening of the new airport will be in May but no specific date has been decided.”

Abdullah Al-Khurief, spokesman for GACA, said: “We decided previously to start the operation of the airport in May, confirming the completion of the construction and implementation of the necessary technical systems and equipment for the operation of the airport, which took more than seven years.”

With a capacity of 50 million passengers a year, the first phase of operation will begin this month. 

“We are talking about more than 800,000 square meters which are five to six times the current area of the airport, so gradually observations must be followed by regulations regarding airlines and different operating systems as it depends on the soft opening and to what extent the project is ready and well equipped,” Al-Khurief added.

“Numbers of gates that will be ready for the soft opening and where they will be located and how many flights there are will be decided on the day of opening,” he said.

2018 will be a turning point for transportation services in the Makkah region and in line with Vision 2030. The new KAIA and Haramain train will be operational in March-May. 

Al-Khurief said: “The soft opening is to be in May as the official opening will be in the first quarter of 2019.


Turkey and US strongly deny sharing 'any audio recording'

Updated 19 October 2018
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Turkey and US strongly deny sharing 'any audio recording'

  • Secretary of State says report he had listened to a recording of Jamal Khashoggi’s death was false
  • Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu also denied sharing any audio recordings with US officials

LONDON: Turkey and the United States denied on Friday that Ankara had shared with Washington an audio recording related to the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said an ABC News report, citing an unnamed source, that he had listened to a recording of Khashoggi’s death while in Istanbul on Wednesday was false. 

Pompeo, who also visited Saudi Arabia this week, said he had neither seen nor heard such a recording.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu also denied sharing any audio recordings with US officials.

“It is out of the question for Turkey to give Pompeo or any other US official any audio recording,” Cavusoglu said during a visit to Tirana, Albania. “It is out of the question for us to share with any country this or that information.”

“Of course, as a result of the investigation so far, Turkey does have some information and evidence," he said. "We will share them with the world when they become fully clear because the whole world, understandably, wants to know what happened to Khashoggi and how it happened.”

Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist who lived in the US, disappeared on Oct. 2 after visiting the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul to complete paperwork related to his divorce. 

Saudi Arabia and Turkey are carrying out a joint investigation into the disappearance.

On Thursday, Turkey called on the public to ignore any information claiming to be leaked from the case.

Since Khashoggi’s disappearance there has been a flurry of stories claiming to be based on leaks from the probe.

Pompeo said on Thursday they had given Saudi Arabia more time to complete the investigation to make sure they have a complete understanding of the facts.