Jeddah airport approves plan to receive Umrah pilgrims

Umrah pilgrims go through passport control upon their arrival at Jeddah airport. (AFP)
Updated 17 September 2018
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Jeddah airport approves plan to receive Umrah pilgrims

  • More than 10 million Umrah pilgrims are expected to come through the airport

JEDDAH: Jeddah’s King Abdul Aziz International Airport has approved an operational plan for this year’s Umrah season, announcing its preparedness to start receiving pilgrims.
The airport’s director general said the plan will be implemented under the supervision of the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA), and other government and civil institutions.
The plan aims to ensure pilgrims’ comfort and safety from their arrival in Jeddah until they board their return flights, he added.
More than 10 million Umrah pilgrims are expected to come through the airport, he said, praising GACA’s continuous monitoring of the quality of services provided.
KAIA is Saudi Arabia’s largest and the first facility to serve pilgrims traveling by air, accounting for 40 percent of passenger movement in the Kingdom.
The airport management has implemented a number of development projects in the north and south terminals to boost operational efficiency and provide better service to passengers.
Earlier, the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah on Saturday launched a weekly indicator whereby authorities can track the number of pilgrims coming into the Kingdom, and in turn enrich their experiences by providing high-quality services.
Abdul Aziz Wazzan, undersecretary at the ministry, said the initiative is part of Saudi’s Vision 2030. He said the ministry was working in coordination with all sectors and preparations were in place to welcome the pilgrims this year.
He said with the weekly data, authorities will have access to the information, such as the number of visas issued, the number of pilgrims visiting the Kingdom via air, land or sea, and the number of them landing in Makkah and Madinah.
Pilgrims from Pakistan and India led the list of visitors to the Kingdom, followed by those from Sri Lanka, Jordan and Kuwait.


New technologies help increase number of flights, passengers in Saudi Arabia’s airports — GACA

Updated 24 March 2019
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New technologies help increase number of flights, passengers in Saudi Arabia’s airports — GACA

  • More than 99.86 million passengers departed or arrived through 771,828 flights in the Kingdom's international and domestic airports in 2018
  • GACA is due to host Global Aviation Summit 2019 on April 1 and 2 in Riyadh

JEDDAH: New technologies applied in Saudi Arabia's airports has contributed to aviation growth in the Kingdom and has provided solutions for passenger’s trips, air cargo and investments, the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) has said.

GACA earlier reported an 8 percent increase in passenger numbers and 4 percent in flight rates in 2018.

It said more than 99.86 million passengers departed or arrived through 771,828 flights in the Kingdom's international and domestic airports in 2018, compared to 92.42 million passengers on board 741,293 flights in 2017.

"The GACA is keen to adopt plans to develop the Kingdom's airports network in order to keep pace with the steady increase in air traffic, increase the reliability of services, maximize geographic coverage and enhance the contribution of the airports to the overall economic growth of the country," it said.

For example, it said, GACA provides information through technology to reduce paperwork, operating costs and streamline business processes while reducing time to address them.

Most prominent among these e-services is the “Self-Services at the Kingdom's airports” that include check-in kiosks that provide boarding passes and luggage identification cards and self-service baggage drops that allows passengers to self-check their luggage.

It also provides self-scanning devices for bags in the arrival halls, ensuring that all baggage and other cargo arrive at the airport through the installation of electronic gates for the passage of freight vehicles before being emptied into the luggage compartment. 

Electronic gates and document scanning machines ensure that a traveler's information is correct and that boarding passes, passports, national identity and residency are valid.

Other services include airport operations systems and flight information display for some domestic airports.

To ensure accuracy in the flight schedules, GACA said it is working on a project to link the Saudi Arabian Airlines traffic management system to the Airport Management System, of which 50 percent has been completed.

GACA is due to host Global Aviation Summit 2019 on April 1 and 2 in Riyadh to review the infrastructure projects for airports and smart airports, the available opportunities to operate the airports and provide advanced services and consultations in civil aviation, among others.