Female Saudi pilot flies high

Updated 29 April 2014
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Female Saudi pilot flies high

A Saudi woman has become the first licensed female pilot in the Kingdom.
Thirty-five-year-old Hanadi Al-Hindi, who had battled kidney problems, acquired licensing from the Jeddah-based General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) to fly planes in Saudi Arabia.
Al-Hindi, who wears a headscarf, has begun flying small and wide-bodied luxury planes belonging to a fleet from the Kingdom Holding Company (KHC).
Khaled Al-Khaibary, a GACA spokesman, neither confirmed nor denied awarding the license to Al-Hindi, saying he would verify the information on Monday.
Al-Hindi, however, confirmed receipt of the license via telephone from the United States.
“Saudi women are capable of taking on any job previously held exclusively by men in Saudi Arabia,” she said.
Al-Hindi refused to divulge anymore information owing to contractual obligations and sensitivity surrounding the topic.
“I have, however, taken on a private initiative to counsel Saudi students in the US who are willing to pursue a career in aviation,” said Al-Hindi, who acquired a “Commercial Pilot’s License” (CPL) and an “Instrument Rating” (IR) from the Amman-based Mideast Aviation Academy in 2002. “Exciting opportunities await candidates in this field.”
Al-Hindi became the Kingdom’s first woman pilot after being hired by Kingdom Holding Company Chairman Prince Alwaleed bin Talal. She became something of a celebrity after gaining her commercial pilot’s license way back in 2006.
Al-Hindi said that she was proud of herself and her family for supporting her in choosing this career.
Born and raised in Makkah, Al-Hindi faced opposition from her relatives after she decided to become a pilot.
Al-Hindi described her first solo flight in 2004 as the beginning of her dream career. “Two days after my solo flight, I discovered that my name was being mentioned all over the world and that I had become a celebrity,” she said in an earlier interview with Arab News.


Pentagon says sending reinforcements following attacks in Saudi Arabia

Updated 21 September 2019

Pentagon says sending reinforcements following attacks in Saudi Arabia

WASHINGTON: The Pentagon says the U.S. will deploy additional troops and military equipment to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to beef up security, as President Donald Trump has at least for now decided against any immediate military strike on Iran in response to the attack on the Saudi oil industry.
Defense Secretary Mark Esper says this is a first step, and he is not ruling out additional moves down the road. He says it's a response to requests from the Saudis and the UAE to help improve their air and missile defenses.
Esper and Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, say details of the deployments will be determined over the coming days.