Jeddah Airport Guide
Late King Khalid laid the foundation of King Abdul Aziz international airport in 1981. It is normally known as Jeddah airport, situated at 19 km north of Jeddah, one of the biggest airports having all the facilities to handle large influx of visitors. It has three main terminals; one for the Saudi Arabian airlines, second for international airlines of more than 40 airlines and the third has been specifically reserved for the pilgrims.
The Hajj terminal is the specialty of Jeddah airport. The terminal consists of two storey air conditioned building equipped with all sorts of facilities for pilgrims. It is estimated to be at five million square feet making it one of largest terminals in the world. It has an area of 100 acres and it is famous for its tent-shaped roofs. One can imagine the area that this very terminal can accommodate around 80,000 passengers at the same time. It is not just the space; the terminal has all the facilities including mosque, bank, money exchange, rest area, etc to offer the pilgrims.
Other than the Hajj terminal, there are other terminals know as the north terminal and a south terminal. The south terminal is the most architecturally striking air terminal in the world. It has the capacity to accommodate 2500 passengers per hour.
The north terminal looks same like the south one. This terminal handles the international airlines and about 20 airlines during Hajj and Umrah seasons at the same time.
Besides these major and huge terminals, the airport has a VIP area as well, specifically reserved for the high officials like heads of states.
Besides this terminal, the development project started in September 2006. The project was to build a new airport consisting of four new terminals, a high speed railway link and the aim was to accommodate more than 80 million passengers a years. The project was divided into three stages, the first was planned to be completed in 2011, taking five years of time.
All such development and construction of special terminals at Jeddah airport are being carried out keeping in view the ever increasing visitors. The focus of course was on the pilgrims coming for Hajj and Umrah. The numbers of pilgrims have been increasing every year, and the resources and accommodation at that time was not enough to handle that many pilgrims; therefore, one can say that the authorities took a step in the right direction. The development is still underway, and it is expected that pilgrims visiting Saudi Arabia in the future will enjoy much better facilities and a lot more space in the future.