King Abdulaziz International Airport

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King Abdulaziz International Airport
مطار الملك عبدالعزيز الدولي
Mataar Al-Malik Abdulazīz Ad-Dowaliy
Airport type Military/Public
Operator General Authority of Civil Aviation
Serves Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
Location Al Madinah Al Munawwarah Road
Hub for
Elevation AMSL 15 m / 48 ft
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
JED is located in Saudi Arabia
Location of airport in Saudi Arabia
Direction Length Surface
m ft
16L/34R 4,000 13,124 Asphalt
16C/34C 3,299 10,825 Concrete
16R/34L 3,800 12,467 Asphalt
Statistics (2015)
Passengers 30,000,000+
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 airport 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 is known for its Hajj terminal, which is specially built for Islamic pilgrims going to Mecca annually and can handle 80,000 passengers at the same time.


The airport occupies an area of 15 square kilometers.[3] Beside the airport proper, this includes a royal terminal, facilities of Prince Abdullah Air Base for the Royal Saudi Air Force, and housing for 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]


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 Bangladeshi-American 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.[4] 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.[5]

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."[6]

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 Flynas 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 Flynas. The terminal is now also used by Garuda Indonesia, Kenya Airways, and Korean 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 2018.[7] The project is designed to increase the airport's yearly capacity from 13 million to 80 million passengers.[citation needed] 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 30 million, 60M and 80M 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.[citation needed] 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.[citation needed]

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.[8]

Airlines and destinations[edit]


Airlines Destinations Terminal
Aegean Airlines Athens[9] North
Afriqiyah Airways Tripoli
Seasonal: Bayda, Benghazi
Air Arabia Ras al Khaimah, Sharjah North
Air Arabia Egypt Alexandria-Borg el Arab North
Air Cairo Assiut, Alexandria-Borg el Arab, Cairo, Sohag North
Air Arabia Jordan Amman-Queen Alia North
AirAsia X Kuala Lumpur–International North
Airblue Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar, Multan North
Air India Delhi, Hyderabad, Kochi, Lucknow, Mumbai North
AlMasria Universal Airlines Alexandria-Borg el Arab North
Ariana Afghan Airlines Kabil, Kandahar [10] North
AtlasGlobal Ankara, Istanbul-Atatürk
Seasonal: Istanbul-Sabiha Gökçen
Hajj Sarajevo
Biman Bangladesh Airlines Chittagong, Dhaka
Hajj: Sylhet
British Airways London-Heathrow North (Haji)
Cham Wings Airlines Damascus North
Citilink Seasonal: Medan
Charter: Surabaya
Daallo Airlines Djibouti, Hargeisa, Mogadishu North
Eaglexpress Seasonal: Kuala Lumpur–International, Surabaya North
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 (suspended)[11] North
flydubai Dubai-International North
Flynas Abu Dhabi, Adana, Alexandria-Borg el Arab, Amman-Queen Alia, Assiut, Aswan, Bahrain, Dammam, Dubai-International, Hatay, Istanbul-Sabiha Gökçen, Jizan, Khartoum, Kuwait, Luxor, Medina, Riyadh, Sharjah, Yanbu[12]
Seasonal: Sharm el-Sheikh
Charter: Jakarta-Soekarno Hatta, Kuala Lumpur–International
Garuda Indonesia Balikpapan, Banda Aceh, Jakarta-Soekarno-Hatta, Medan, Makassar, Surakarta/Solo, Surabaya
Hajj: Jakarta-Halim Perdanakusuma, Mataram-Lombok, Padang, Palembang
Gulf Air Bahrain North (Haji)
Iran Air Hajj: Tabriz, Ahwaz, Bandar Abbas, Birjand, Isfahan, Kerman, Kermanshah, Mashhad, Sari, Shiraz, Tehran-Mehrabad, Urmieh, Yazd, Zahedan North
Iraqi Airways Charter: Baghdad, Basra, Erbil, Najaf, Sulaimaniyah[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
Kuwait Airways Kuwait North
Libyan Airlines Seasonal: Benghazi, Tripoli North
Libyan Wings Charter: Tripoli North
Lion Air Surabaya North
Lufthansa Frankfurt1 North
Malaysia Airlines Kuala Lumpur–International
Hajj: Alor Setar, Johor Bahru, Kuala Terengganu, Penang
Malindo Air Kuala Lumpur-International[14] North
Max Air Hajj: Kano North
Middle East Airlines Beirut North
Nesma Airlines Ha'il[15] North
Nile Air Alexandria-Borg el Arab, Cairo North
Oman Air Muscat, Salalah North
Pakistan International Airlines Faisalabad,[16] Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore, Multan, Peshawar, Sialkot
Hajj: Rahim Yar Khan, Quetta, Bhawalpur
North (Haji)
Palestinian Airlines El Arish North
Philippine Airlines Manila North
Qatar Airways Doha (suspended) North (Haji)
Royal Air Maroc Casablanca
Hajj: Rabat, Tangier
Royal Brunei Airlines Seasonal: Bandar Seri Begawan North
Royal Falcon Amman-Marka North
Royal Jordanian Amman-Queen Alia North
Safi Airways Kabul North
SalamAir Muscat[17] North
Saudia Abha, Abu Dhabi, Addis Ababa, Aden (suspended), Al Ahsa, Al Baha, Al Jawf, Al Ula, Al Wajh, Algiers, Amman-Queen Alia, Ankara,[18] Arar, Bahrain, Bangalore, Beirut, Bisha, Cairo, Casablanca, Chennai, Colombo, Dammam, Dawadmi, Delhi, Dhaka, Doha (suspended), Dubai-International, Frankfurt, Geneva, Guangzhou, Gurayat, Ha'il, Hyderabad, Islamabad, Istanbul-Atatürk, Jizan, Kano, Jakarta-Soekarno Hatta, Karachi, Johannesburg, Kochi, Khartoum, Kuala Lumpur–International, Kuwait, Lahore, London-Heathrow, Los Angeles, Lucknow, Madrid, Malè, Manchester, Manila, Medina, Milan-Malpensa, Multan,[19] Mumbai, Munich, Nairobi-Jomo Kenyatta, Najran, New York-JFK, Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Port Sudan,[20] Qaisumah, Qassim, Rafha, Riyadh, Rome-Fiumicino, Sana'a (suspended),[21] Sharurah, Singapore, Tabuk, Ta'if, Toronto-Pearson, Tunis, Turaif, Wadi al-Dawasir, Washington-Dulles, Yanbu
Seasonal: Adana, Agadir, Ahmedabad, Aleppo, Annaba, Batam, Busheher, Constantine, Davao,[22] Fes, Ghardaïa, Isfahan, Izmir, Kerman, Marrakech, Medan, Oran, Rabat, Rasht, Sary, Shiraz, Surabaya, Tangier, Tehran-Mehrabad, Urmieh, Yazd, Zahedan
Hajj (seasonal)
SaudiGulf Airlines Dammam[23]  ?
Scoot Singapore North
Shaheen Air International Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore, Multan, Peshawar, Sialkot
Hajj: Faisalabad, Rahim Yar Khan
SriLankan Airlines Colombo North
Sudan Airways Khartoum North
Syrian Air Hajj: Damascus North
Tarco Airlines Khartoum
Toumaï Air Tchad Seasonal: N'Djamena1 North
Tunisair Tunis North
Turkish Airlines Istanbul-Atatürk, Istanbul-Sabiha Gökçen
Hajj: Adana, Ankara, Antalya, Bursa, Denizli, Diyarbakır, Erzurum, Gaziantep, Isparta, Izmir, Kayseri, Konya, Samsun, Sivas, Trabzon, Van
UTair Aviation Hajj: Magas, Kazan 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.


Airlines Destinations
Air France Cargo Dammam, Hong Kong, Paris-Charles de Gaulle
DHL International Aviation ME Bahrain
Ethiopian Airlines Cargo Addis Ababa[24]
Lufthansa Cargo Frankfurt, Sharjah
Qatar Airways Cargo Doha (suspended)
Saudia Cargo Addis Ababa, Amsterdam, Brussels, Dammam, Dhaka, Frankfurt, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Johannesburg-OR Tambo, Khartoum, Lagos, Lucknow, Milan-Malpensa, Mumbai, Nairobi-Jomo Kenyatta, New York-JFK,[25] N'Djamena, Riyadh, Shanghai-Pudong, Sharjah
Turkish Airlines Cargo Cairo, Istanbul-Atatürk[26]

Other facilities[edit]

The General Authority of Civil Aviation has the GACA Hangar (Building 364) at the airport.[27]

Accidents and incidents[edit]

  • On 25 September 1959, a Saudia Douglas DC-4/C-54A-5-DO (registration HZ-AAF), performed a belly landing shortly after take-off from the old Jeddah Airport. The cause of the accident were gust locks not deactivated by the mechanic, followed by a stall. All 67 passengers and 5 crew survived.[28]
  • 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.[29]
  • 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 substantial damage to the engine and the left wing, the aircraft was written off. All 261 passengers and 12 crew survived.[30]

See also[edit]


 This article incorporates public domain material from the Air Force Historical Research Agency website

  1. ^ "pagenotfound" (PDF). 
  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. ^ "SOM's Hajj Terminal Wins AIA 25-Year Award". fabricARCHITECTURE. Archived from the original on 6 October 2014. Retrieved 2014-10-01. 
  5. ^ Aga Khan Awards, Project brief.
  6. ^ Aga Khan Award for Architecture.
  7. ^ "King Abdulaziz International Airport Development Project". Retrieved 1 June 2015. 
  8. ^ "The Master Plan". jed. Retrieved 17 September 2011. 
  9. ^
  10. ^ Ariana schedule
  11. ^ "Yémen : fermeture de l'aéroport d'Aden pour des raisons de sécurité (source aéropotuaire)" (in French). L'Orient Le Jour. 25 March 2015. Retrieved 25 March 2015. 
  12. ^
  13. ^ Iraqi Airways Jeddah charter data at fllightradar24
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^ Faisalabad,
  17. ^
  18. ^ "Saudia adds regular Ankara service from Nov 2016". routesonline. Retrieved 22 August 2016. 
  19. ^
  20. ^
  21. ^ Ghattas, Abir. "Yemen's No Fly Zone: Thousands of Yemenis are Stranded Abroad". Retrieved 8 April 2015. 
  22. ^
  23. ^ "SaudiGulf Airlines to launch on October 29". ch-aviation. 28 October 2016. Retrieved 28 October 2016. 
  24. ^ ET cargo schedule Archived 11 April 2014 at the Wayback Machine..
  25. ^ "Saudia Cargo Resumes New York Service from Sep 2015". 23 September 2015. Retrieved 23 September 2015. 
  26. ^ Turkish Airlines Cargo Winter Schedule Archived 4 June 2013 at the Wayback Machine.
  27. ^ "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"
  28. ^ "Saudi Arabian Airlines DC-4 accident HZ-AAF". Retrieved 16 March 2010. 
  29. ^ "Nationair Flight 2120 accident". Retrieved 16 March 2010. 
  30. ^ "PIA Flight 2002 accident". Retrieved 16 March 2010. 

External links[edit]

Media related to King Abdulaziz International Airport at Wikimedia Commons