Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Opens King Abdulaziz International Airport

​​​Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud inaugurated the grand opening of the new airport (King Abdulaziz International Airport) on Tuesday September 23rd 2019.
Upon the arrival of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, the Monarch was welcomed by his Royal Highness Prince Khalid Bin Faisal Al Saud (the Governor/ emir of Makkah Province and Advisor to King Salman Bin Abdulaziz), his Royal Highness Prince Mishaal bin Abdulaziz Al Saud (the Governor of Jeddah), his Excellency the Minister of Transport (the Chairman of the Board of Directors at GACA, His Excellency Dr. Nabil Bin Mohammed Al-Amoudi, and his Excellency the President of GACA Abdulhadi Al-Mansouri.
After the National Anthem started, the Monarch toured the new Terminal; one of the biggest airports in the country with a total size of 810 square km and with an annual capacity of 30 million passengers.
The King watched a presentation that showed the prominent features of the airport. The opening ceremony started with a recitation from the Holy Quran.
The King also watched another presentation on the General Authority of Civil Aviation in Saudi Arabia. Minister of Transport, the Chairman of the Board of Directors at GACA, Nabil Al-Amoudi gave a speech saying: “the General Authority of Civil Aviation has achieved qualitative leaps and creative developments.” He continued: “it contributed to about 4.6 % of the gross domestic product (GDP) according to ‘IATA’. “As a result, the number of passengers has diligently increased. In 2010, the number of passengers was 47 million travelers and by 2014 the number reached 74 million.” He added: “the number increased to 100 million travelers in 2018. In addition, the airport constituted 36 % of the total passengers compared to other airports in Saudi.”
His Excellency stressed on the continuous efforts and achievements made by Custodian of the two Holy Mosques and the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. His Excellency also affirmed the importance of the Saudi youth saying: “it is heart-warming and calls for pride that many of Saudi youth citizens contributed to this extent and took part in this collaborative work starting from planning and designing to constructing, supervising and operating. Those Saudi youths who appreciate the care given by our government to the Saudi people have the potential to achieve the goals of the Kingdom.” 
His Excellency emphasized that the goals of this vital accomplishment will extend to develop a logistical platform that integrates the three continents together. The new airport will be capable of serving as a hub between the West and the East. It will also work as an intensive focal point for the passenger and trade flow so it can be an influential location among the international airports worldwide in general, especially the hub airports that will obtain a fair share of the air transport industry in the area.”
His excellency concluded his speech by saying: “Today, we are proud of this immense achievement not for the size of the airport nor for its architectural designs but for its unique role in serving the pilgrims as it is described as the two holy mosques gate. About 70 % of the travelers are pilgrims who travel through this airport. Today, this airport will meet your expectations to serve 30 million pilgrims annually.” Studies have confirmed that the number of travelers should be increasing over the next few years. Based on the strategic plans conducted by GACA, the passenger capacity is estimated to raise to 55 million passengers in the 2nd phase and 100 million passengers in the 3rd phase.
Thanks to comprehensive facilities, preparedness and modern technologies constructed on 810 square km, the immense size of the airport includes 220 Airlines counters, 80 self-service devices, 210 passport control counters and 46 gates that accommodate wide-body jets. These gates are connected through 94 Walkways/jetways which are able to serve 70 Airplanes simultaneously.  The parking lot can accommodate more than 21600 cars. Moreover, the airport architecture is inspired from the kingdoms environment in general and Historical Jeddah environment in particular.  
After the Minister’s given speech, the Monarch watched a presentation named ‘New World Front’. Following that, the Monarch inaugurated the new airport and was given a gift by the Minister of Transport, Chairman of board of directors in GACA.  Photos were also taken in this event.    
Several princes, ministers, senior officials and diplomats were among the attendees.