JEDDAH: The Saudi General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) has started implementing technical solutions at Jeddah’s King Abdul Aziz International Airport (KAIA) and Madinah’s Prince Mohammed bin Abdul Aziz International Airport (PMIA) to reduce pilgrim congestion during this year’s Hajj.
The GACA has merged terminal hall paths into single directions to ensure the smooth flow of pilgrims, allowing both airports to welcome up 48,000 passengers during a single phase.
Operational systems, particularly the scheduling of flights dedicated to pilgrims, have also been coordinated with the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah and KAIA, to avoid overcrowding.
Passport controls have also been streamlined, as have baggage reclaim halls, whilst public transport and parking capacities have also been increased.
PMIA also benefited from the series of modern technology development projects.
The airport saw the addition of 24 self-service check-in platforms, six travel verification platforms, 10 self-boarding gates, an area dedicated for people with special needs, a new car park, a loading and unloading bay in front of the main hall, and a waiting area next to the departure hall.
The GACA will adopt additional electronic services in future development projects to facilitate pilgrim’s safe and efficient travels in the Kingdom during Hajj seasons to come.
Those services will include revolutionary “self-service airports” where passengers will be able to finalize their procedures, issue their boarding passes and weigh and register luggage themselves.
The GACA had adopted plans to develop the Kingdom’s airport network to cope with the steady increase in air traffic, improve the quality of services, achieve the greatest geographical coverage possible and promote the airports’ contribution to the Kingdom’s economic growth.