Jubail airport handles first civilian flight

Updated 20 September 2014
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Jubail airport handles first civilian flight

The first civilian aircraft landed at Jubail airport on Thursday morning, marking its transformation from a purely military facility.
The General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) had overseen the revamp of the airport at Jubail Industrial City.
It was originally constructed by the Royal Commission of Jubail and Yanbu for private aviation, until it was decided to use the large nearby King Fahd International Airport for this purpose. The Ministry of Defense then took over the facility for use by the country's navy.
However, the royal commission announced earlier this year that the facility would also handle private aircraft starting this September. It launched a project to renovate the airfield and handle some infrastructure that had remained incomplete when it first changed into a military facility.
The airport is now open for private aviation serving companies in Jubail and Ras Al-Khair industrial cities and neighboring towns. GACA and the navy are working on a plan to use the area in front of the naval forces’ airport in Jubail Industrial City to establish a domestic airport.
Mosleh Al-Otaibi, chief executive officer of the royal commission, announced the opening of the airport recently. “After obtaining a license, completing the landing areas and watch towers, the airport has started operating. It will be for civilian and military use.”
According to data made available to Arab News, the airport will serve more than 500,000 passengers including visitors and investors from inside and outside the Kingdom. This includes expatriates from more than 70 countries working in the area.
The airport is close to Al-Na’areya, Al-Khafji, Al-Elyia village, Khurisaniyah and other areas where Saudi Aramco operates.
Employees and businesspeople are optimistic that the airport would provide further support for the growing aviation industry, and support tourism and other important sectors of the economy.
Jubail is one of the leading industrial cities in the world featuring a range of petrochemical enterprises.


Trump: Saudi arrests in Khashoggi death 'a good first step'

Updated 2 min 38 sec ago
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Trump: Saudi arrests in Khashoggi death 'a good first step'

LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, Arizona: US President Donald Trump on Friday called Saudi Arabia's announcement that suspects are in custody in the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi a "good first step" and said he would work with Congress on a US response.

The president spoke to the media at a defense roundtable in Arizona hours after Saudi Arabia claimed that Khashoggi, a Washington Post contributor last seen on Oct. 2, was killed in a "fistfight" at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. The kingdom also said that 18 suspects were in custody and that intelligence officials had been fired.

Asked by a reporter whether he thought Saudi Arabia's explanation for Khashoggi's death was credible, Trump said, "I do. I do." But he said before he decided what to do next, he wanted to talk to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

"Saudi Arabia has been a great ally, but what happened is unacceptable," Trump said. Regarding the Saudi arrests, he said, "It's a big first step. It's only a first step, but it's a big first step."