King Abdulaziz International Airport

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King Abdulaziz International Airport
مطار الملك عبدالعزيز الدولي
Hajj Terminal


JED is located in Saudi Arabia
Location of airport in Saudi Arabia
Airport type Military/Public
Operator General Authority of Civil Aviation
Serves Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
Location Al Madinah Al Munawwarah Road
Hub for
Elevation AMSL 48 ft / 15 m
Coordinates 21°40′46″N 039°09′24″E / 21.67944°N 39.15667°E / 21.67944; 39.15667Coordinates: 21°40′46″N 039°09′24″E / 21.67944°N 39.15667°E / 21.67944; 39.15667
Direction Length Surface
ft m
16L/34R 13,124 4,000 Asphalt
16C/34C 10,825 3,299 Concrete
16R/34L 12,467 3,800 Asphalt
Statistics (2012)
Passengers 27,111,000
Traffic movement 208,209[1]
Economic impact (2012) $11.5 billion[2]
Social impact (2012) 126.7 thousand[2]

King Abdulaziz International Airport (KAIA) (Arabic: مطار الملك عبدالعزيز الدولي‎) (IATA: JEDICAO: OEJN) is an aviation facility located 19 km to the north of Jeddah. Named after King Abdulaziz Al Saud and inaugurated in 1981, the airport is the busiest airport of Saudi Arabia and is third largest airport in the kingdom.


The airport occupies an area of 15 square kilometers.[3] Beside the airport proper, this includes a royal terminal, facilities of the Royal Saudi Air Force, and housing facilities for the airport staff. Construction work on KAIA airport began in 1974, and was finalized in 1980. Finally, on 31 May 1981, the airport opened for service after being officially inaugurated in April 1981.[3]

According to a 2014 poll, King Abdulaziz International Airport was voted as the second worst airport in the world after Islamabad International Airport.[4][5]

Hajj terminal[edit]

Hajj Terminal

Because of Jeddah's proximity to Islam's holy city of Mecca, the airport is notable for one feature in particular: the Hajj Terminal. Specially built to handle pilgrims to take part in the rituals associated with the annual Hajj, it offers many facilities and can accommodate 80,000 travelers at the same time.

Designed by the famous Bangladeshi engineer Fazlur Rahman Khan of the architectural firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM), it is known for its tent-like roof structure, engineered by Horst Berger while part of Geiger Berger Associates.[6] Ten modules, each consisting of 21 "tents" of white colored Teflon-coated fiberglass fabric suspended from pylons, are grouped together into two blocks of five modules and separated by a landscaped mall between the blocks. Only customs, baggage handling and similar facilities are located in an air-conditioned building. The vast majority of the complex, called "Terminal Support Area", is a flexible, open area, conceived to function like a village, complete with souk (market) and mosque. Not enclosed by walls, this area is sheltered from the intense sun while allowing for natural ventilation.[7]

The Hajj Terminal received the Aga Khan Award for Architecture in 1983. According to the jury, "the brilliant and imaginative design of the roofing system met the awesome challenge of covering this vast space with incomparable elegance and beauty."[8]

At five million square feet (465,000 m²), the Jeddah airport Hajj Terminal is estimated to be among the world's largest air terminals after Beijing Capital International Airport, Dubai International Airport and Hong Kong International Airport. Many airlines from Muslim and non-Muslim countries have used the Hajj Terminal.

Other terminals[edit]

South Terminal

Jeddah-KAIA airport serves as a major hub for Saudia who originally had the exclusive use of the South Terminal. In 2007 however, the privately owned Saudi carriers Nas Air and Sama Airlines were also given permission to use it. Due to the closure of Sama Airlines, the terminal was only used by Saudia and Nas Air The North Terminal at Jeddah airport is used by all other foreign airlines.

Expansion project[edit]

The new King Abdulaziz International Airport three-stage development started in September 2006, and is currently scheduled for completion in 2035.[9] The project is designed to increase the airport's yearly capacity from 13 million to 80 million passengers. The expansion includes airfield hard standing and paved areas, lighting, fuel network systems and storm water drainage network.

There will also be a newly constructed support services building, renovation of the existing South and North Terminals and upgrades to the existing runway and airfield systems to accommodate the Airbus A380. The three stages, according to GACA – the General Authority of Civil Aviation of Saudi Arabia, will be marked by staged capacity increase to 30mn / 60mn and 80mn passengers per year. Based on current traffic increases, the existing South Terminal will need to serve about 21 million passengers per year over the next 20 years to meet growing demand. The project has reached the final stages of planning and design, and King Abdullah, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques has approved a budget of SR4 billion to build the futuristic new airport to international standards. Abdullah Al-Rehaimy, president of the General Authority of Civil Aviation, has said that the project will be built by local companies.

The three new crescent-shaped passenger halls will be located to the south of the current international terminal which will be undergoing renovation at the same time. Talal Saaty, speaking at a presentation of the project to Jeddah Governor Prince Mishaal ibn Majed, said that work on the improvements could start as early as this coming September. Operational capacity for the airport, he said, would increase, and denied that upgrading work would hamper traffic throughput. Work on renewing and upgrading the facilities, he said, would be timed to avoid peak traffic flow. Access to the new terminals is still in the planning and purchasing stage. An extension of Prince Majed Street will make access direct and easy; the municipality is currently investigating the location of land needed for the proposed extension and is addressing the problem of the compulsory purchase of property and compensation.

Southward, Prince Majed Street will connect to the Al-Laith Highway, forming a fast north-south transit route. As well as much improved road access, plans have been made for a high-speed rail link serving the airport. Starting at Prince Majed Street, the link will run into the airport and hook up with terminals[10]

Airlines and destinations[edit]

Airlines Destinations Terminal
Afriqiyah Airways Tripoli
Seasonal: Bayda, Benghazi
Air Algérie Algiers North
Air Arabia Ras al Khaimah, Sharjah North
Air Arabia Egypt Alexandria-Borg el Arab North
AirAsia X Kuala Lumpur North
Airblue Karachi, Lahore, Multan (Begins 4 april 2015) North
Air India Bhopal, Delhi, Hyderabad, Kochi, Kozhikode (ends 1 May 2015),[11] Mumbai North
AlMasria Universal Airlines Alexandria-Borg el Arab North


Atlasjet Ankara, Istanbul-Atatürk
Seasonal: Istanbul-Sabiha Gökçen
Biman Bangladesh Airlines Chittagong, Dhaka
Hajj: Sylhet
Bosnian Wand Airlines
operated by Hermes Airlines
Athens North
British Airways London-Heathrow North (Haji)
Cham Wings Airlines Damascus North
Citilink Seasonal Charter: Jakarta, Medan, Mumbai 2 North
Daallo Airlines Djibouti, Hargeisa, Mogadishu North
Eaglexpress Seasonal charter: Kuala Lumpur, Surabaya
EgyptAir Alexandria-Borg el Arab, Cairo North
operated by EgyptAir Express
Seasonal: Sharm el-Sheikh North
Emirates Dubai-International North (Haji)
Eritrean Airlines Asmara North
Ethiopian Airlines Addis Ababa North
Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi North (Haji)
Felix Airways Aden North
flydubai Dubai-International North
Flynas Adana, Alexandria-Borg el Arab, Amman-Queen Alia, Assiut, Aswan, Dammam, Dubai-International, Hatay, Istanbul-Sabiha Gökçen, Jizan, Khartoum, Kuwait, Luxor, Medina, Riyadh, Sharjah
Seasonal: Sharm el-Sheikh
Charter: Jakarta-Soekarno Hatta, Kuala Lumpur, Surabaya
Garuda Indonesia Jakarta-Soekarno-Hatta, Surabaya, Medan, Makassar
Hajj: Banda Aceh, Jakarta-Halim Perdanakusuma, Lombok-Mataram, Padang, Palembang
Gulf Air Bahrain North (Haji)
Iran Air Hajj: Ahwaz, Bandar Abbas, Birjand, Isfahan, Kerman, Kermanshah, Mashhad, Sary, Shiraz, Tabriz, Tehran-Mehrabad, Urmieh, Yazd, Zahedan[13] North
Jazeera Airways Kuwait North
Jet Airways Mumbai North Hajj: Leeds/Bradford, Manchester North
Jubba Airways Djibouti, Hargeisa, Mogadishu North
Kabo Air Hajj: Abuja, Kano North
Kenya Airways Mombasa, Nairobi-Jomo Kenyatta South
Korean Air Seoul-Incheon 1 South
Kuwait Airways Kuwait North
Libyan Airlines Seasonal: Benghazi, Tripoli (all suspended) North
Lion Air Jakarta-Soekarno-Hatta
Hajj: Bandung, Jakarta-Halim Perdanakusuma
Lufthansa Addis Ababa,[14] Frankfurt1 North
Mahan Air Hajj: Isfahan, Kerman, Rasht, Tabriz, Tehran-Mehrabad North
Malaysia Airlines Kuala Lumpur
Hajj: Johor Bahru, Kuala Terengganu, Penang
Max Air Hajj: Kano North
Middle East Airlines Beirut North
Nile Air Cairo North
Oman Air Muscat, Salalah[15] North
Pakistan International Airlines Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore, Multan, Peshawar, Sialkot North
Palestinian Airlines El Arish North
Petra Airlines Amman-Civil North
Qatar Airways Doha North (Haji)
Royal Air Maroc Casablanca
Hajj: Rabat, Tangier
Royal Brunei Airlines Bandar Seri Begawan North
Royal Falcon Amman-Marka North
Royal Jordanian Amman-Queen Alia North
Safi Airways Kabul North
Saudia Abha, Abu Dhabi, Addis Ababa, Aden, Al Ahsa, Al Baha, Al Jawf, Al Ula,[16] Al Wajh, Algiers, Amman-Queen Alia, Ankara, Arar, Bahrain, Bangalore, Beirut, Bisha, Cairo, Casablanca, Chennai, Coimbatore, Colombo, Dammam, Dawadmi, Dhaka, Doha, Dubai-International, Frankfurt, Geneva, Guangzhou, Gurayat, Hafar Al-Batin, Ha'il, Hyderabad, Islamabad, Istanbul-Atatürk, Jakarta-Soekarno-Hatta, Jizan, Kano, Karachi, Johannesburg, Kochi, Khartoum, Kozhikode, Kuala Lumpur, Kuwait, Lahore, London-Heathrow, Los Angeles, Lucknow, Madrid, Manchester, Manila, Medina, Milan-Malpensa, Mumbai, Nairobi-Jomo Kenyatta, Najran, New York-JFK, Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Qaisumah, Qassim, Rafha, Riyadh, Rome-Fiumicino, Sana'a, Sharurah, Singapore, Tabuk, Ta'if, Toronto-Pearson,[17] Tunis, Wadi al-Dawasir, Washington-Dulles, Yanbu
Seasonal: Adana, Agadir, Ahmedabad, Aleppo, Annaba, Batam, Busheher, Constantine, Fes, Ghardaïa, Isfahan, Izmir, Kerman, Marrakech, Medan, Oran, Rabat, Rasht, Sary, Shiraz, Surabaya, Tabriz, Tangier, Tehran-Mehrabad, Urmieh, Yazd, Zahedan
Hajj (seasonal)
Shaheen Air International Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar, Sialkot, Faisalabad North
Singapore Airlines Singapore 1 North
Sri Lankan Airlines Colombo
Seasonal: Hambantota
Somon Air Dushanbe 1 North
Sudan Airways Khartoum North
Syphax Airlines Sfax North
Toumaï Air Tchad Seasonal: N'Djamena 1 North
Tunisair Tunis North
Turkish Airlines Istanbul-Atatürk
Hajj: Adana, Ankara, Antalya, Bursa, Denizli, Diyarbakır, Erzurum, Gaziantep, Isparta, Izmir, Kayseri, Konya, Samsun, Sivas, Trabzon, Van[18]
United Airways Dhaka, Karachi North
UTair Aviation Hajj: Magas[19] North
Yemenia Aden, Sana'a North

^1 These flights may include a stop between Jeddah and the listed destination. However, the airlines do not have rights to transport passengers solely between Jeddah and the intermediate stop.

^2 Citilink's charter flights to Jakarta are served via Mumbai and Medan.


Airlines Destinations
Air France Cargo Dammam, Hong Kong, Paris-Charles de Gaulle
DHL International Aviation ME Bahrain
Ethiopian Airlines Cargo Addis Ababa[20]
Lufthansa Cargo Frankfurt, Sharjah
Qatar Airways Cargo Doha
Saudia Cargo Addis Ababa, Amsterdam, Brussels, Dammam, Dhaka, Frankfurt, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Johannesburg-OR Tambo, Khartoum, Lagos, Lucknow, Milan-Malpensa, Mumbai, Nairobi-Jomo Kenyatta, N'Djamena, Riyadh, Shanghai-Pudong, Sharjah
Turkish Airlines Cargo Cairo, Istanbul-Atatürk[21]

Other facilities[edit]

The General Authority of Civil Aviation has the GACA Hangar (Building 364) at the airport.[22]

Trolley service[edit]

The trolley service (for arriving and departing passengers) at south and north terminals is managed and maintained by Smarti International Company, which draws its employees from foreign nations.


Over 17 million passengers use Jeddah-KAIA airport every year.

Statistics for King Abdulaziz International Airport
Year Total passengers Total Aircraft movements Total Cargo (tonnes)
1998 9,716,000 85,613
1999 10,149,000 88,701
2000 10,465,000 88,531
2001 10,237,000 86,438
2002 10,849,000 86,453
2003 11,248,000 88,433
2004 12,257,000 93,685
2005 13,239,000 98,986
2006 13,265,000 107,740
2007 14,356,000 122,266
2008 17,644,000 138,599
2009 17,757,000 142,505
2010 17,891,364 146,365 231,730

Incidents and accidents[edit]

  • On 25 September 1959, a Saudia reg HZ-AAF Douglas DC-4/C-54A-5-DO, crashed shortly after take-off from Jeddah. The cause of the accident was pilot error followed by a stall. All 67 passengers and 5 crew survived.[23]
  • On 11 July 1991, Nigeria Airways Flight 2120, a Douglas DC-8-61, suffered cabin pressure problems followed by a fire due to a failed landing gear. The pilots tried to return to the airport but failed to reach the airport as the plane crashed killing all 247 passengers and 14 crew.[24]
  • On 1 March 2004, PIA Flight 2002, an Airbus A300B4-200, burst 2 tires whilst taking off from King Abdulaziz International Airport. Fragments of the tire were ingested by the engines, this caused the engines to catch fire and an aborted takeoff was performed. Due to the fire substantial damage to the engine and the left wing caused the aircraft to be written off. All 261 passengers and 12 crew survived.[25]

See also[edit]

Media related to King Abdulaziz International Airport at Wikimedia Commons


 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Air Force Historical Research Agency.

  1. ^
  2. ^ a b "King Abdulaziz International airport – Economic and social impact". Ecquants. Retrieved 7 September 2013. 
  3. ^ a b About KAIA on the GACA website
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^ "SOM's Hajj Terminal Wins AIA 25-Year Award". fabricARCHITECTURE. Retrieved 2014-10-01. 
  7. ^ Aga Khan Awards, Project brief.
  8. ^ Aga Khan Award for Architecture.
  9. ^ King Abdulaziz International Airport website
  10. ^ "The Master Plan". jed. Retrieved 17 September 2011. 
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^ Iran Air Hajj operations 2012. (21 August 2012).
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^ Saudi national airline to fly to Toronto | CityNews. (11 May 2012).
  18. ^ Turkish Airlines Hajj operations 2012. (3 February 1933).
  19. ^ "Авиакомпания "ЮТэйр" готова к перевозке паломников в Медину". Новости. UTair Aviation. Retrieved 8 October 2012. 
  20. ^ ET cargo schedule.
  21. ^ Turkish Airlines Cargo Winter Schedule[dead link]
  22. ^ "Sectors – Safety & Economic Regulations > Contact Information." General Authority of Civil Aviation. Retrieved on 25 February 2012. "1- GACA HANGAR BLDG.364, KAIA, JEDDAH" – Arabic: "1- مبنى رقم 364 – مطار الملك عبد العزيز الدولي -جدة"
  23. ^ "Saudi Arabian Airlines DC-5 accident". Retrieved 16 March 2010. 
  24. ^ "Nationair Flight 2120 accident". Retrieved 16 March 2010. 
  25. ^ "PIA Flight 2002 accident". Retrieved 16 March 2010. 

External links[edit]