Prince Mohammad bin Abdulaziz Airport
|Prince Mohammad bin Abdulaziz International Airport|
|IATA: MED – ICAO: OEMA
|Operator||TIBAH Airports Operation Co. Ltd (TAV)|
|Location||Medina, Saudi Arabia|
|Elevation AMSL||2,151 ft / 656 m|
Prince Mohammad bin Abdulaziz International Airport or Prince Mohammad Airport (alternatively "Mohammed") (IATA: MED, ICAO: OEMA) is a regional airport in Medina. Opened in 1974, it handles mostly domestic flights, although it has limited scheduled international services to regional destinations such as Cairo, Doha, Dubai, Istanbul and Kuwait. and It also handles charter international flights during the Hajj season. It was named after Muhammad bin Abdulaziz Al Saud. Only Muslims are allowed to enter the city. This is a strictly enforced law. The Pilgrims for Hajj and Umrah can enter Saudi Arabia through this airport or through Jeddah airport only.
It is the fourth busiest airport in Saudi Arabia, handling 1,592,000 passengers in 2004, including 378,715 Hajj charter passengers. On average, it handles 20-35 flights per day, although this number triples during the Hajj season and school holidays.
As with other regional airports in Saudi Arabia, it is modestly equipped with a simple, single-story terminal and a small parking apron. It has two runways: a main runway and an angled runway for crosswind operations. There are plans to upgrade the airport to full international specification to handle the expected increase in passenger traffic to 3 million passengers per year. Presently, it is operated by TIBAH Airports Operations Co. Ltd, TAV consortium with Al-Rajhi and Saudi Oger (BTO).
Airlines and destinations
Incidents and accidents
On 16 March 2001, the airport was the scene of a bloody end to the hijacking of a Russian based Vnukovo Airlines Tupolev 154 Jet bound from Istanbul to Moscow carrying 162 passengers. The hijackers, apparently Chechen Separatists, had landed at the airport and had demanded additional amount of fuel to fly to Afghanistan. After 18 hours of no negotiations, Saudi Security forces stormed the plane bringing an end to the hijack. There were three fatalities, including a hijacker, a Turkish passenger, and a Russian Air stewardess.
- by JL (8 November 2013). "ETIHAD to Start Madinah Service from Feb 2014; Airline Route – Worldwide Airline Route Updates". Airlineroute.net. Retrieved 8 November 2013.
- PK to MED
- "Bloody end to Chechen HIjack". BBC News. 16 March 2001. Retrieved 29 January 2009.
- General Authority of Civil Aviation
- TAV Airports
- Airport information for OEMA at World Aero Data. Data current as of October 2006.