King Abdulaziz International Airport
|King Abdulaziz International Airport
مطار الملك عبدالعزيز الدولي
|Operator||General Authority of Civil Aviation|
|Serves||Jeddah, Saudi Arabia|
|Location||Al Madinah Al Munawwarah Road|
|Elevation AMSL||48 ft / 15 m|
King Abdulaziz International Airport (KAIA) (Arabic: مطار الملك عبدالعزيز الدولي) (IATA: JED, ICAO: 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. 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.
Because of Jeddah's proximity to Islam's holy city of Mecca, the airport stands 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. 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.
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."
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.
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 up until 29 May 2012, date at which Saudia Airlines joined SkyTeam. Since then, SkyTeam airlines are also allowed to use this terminal. The North Terminal at Jeddah airport is used by all other foreign airlines.
The new King Abdulaziz International Airport three-stage development started in September 2006, and is currently scheduled for completion in 2014.  Three new terminal buildings, a high-speed rail link and a capacity for up to 80 million passengers a year are among the targets proposed for a new airport. The project is designed to increase the airport's capacity initially from 13 million passengers by 30 million passengers each year. 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
Airlines and destinations
^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.
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.
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (September 2012)|
Over 17 million passengers use Jeddah-KAIA airport every year.
|Year||Total passengers||Total Aircraft movements||Total Cargo (tonnes)|
Incidents and accidents
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Media related to King Abdulaziz International Airport at Wikimedia Commons
- "King Abdulaziz International airport – Economic and social impact". Ecquants. Retrieved 7 September 2013.
- About KAIA on the GACA website
- "SOM's Hajj Terminal Wins AIA 25-Year Award". fabricARCHITECTURE. Retrieved 2014-10-01.
- Aga Khan Awards, Project brief.
- Aga Khan Award for Architecture.
- "The Master Plan". jed. Retrieved 17 September 2011.
- Ariana schedule. Flyariana.com.
- Iran Air Hajj operations 2012. Iranair.com (21 August 2012).
- Saudi national airline to fly to Toronto | CityNews. Citynews.ca (11 May 2012).
- Turkish Airlines Hajj operations 2012. Turkishairlines.com (3 February 1933).
- "Авиакомпания "ЮТэйр" готова к перевозке паломников в Медину". Новости. UTair Aviation. Retrieved 8 October 2012.
- ET cargo schedule. Ethiopianairlines.com.
- Turkish Airlines Cargo Winter Schedule[dead link]
- "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"
- "Saudi Arabian Airlines DC-5 accident". Aviation-safety.net. Retrieved 16 March 2010.
- "Nationair Flight 2120 accident". Aviation-safety.net. Retrieved 16 March 2010.
- "PIA Flight 2002 accident". Aviation-safety.net. Retrieved 16 March 2010.
- King Abdulaziz International Airport new website
- Arrivals and Departures
- Information on the GACA website for the King Abdulaziz Int. Airport Development Project (KADP)
- Airport information for OEJN at World Aero Data. Data current as of October 2006.Source: DAFIF.
- Airport information for OEJN at Great Circle Mapper. Source: DAFIF (effective Oct. 2006).
- Current weather for OEJN at NOAA/NWS
- Accident history for JED at Aviation Safety Network