Mecca Airport – Construction, location and importance.

What is the Mecca airport?

King Abdulaziz International Airport is the best known to reach Mecca, it opened in 1981 and includes the well-known Hajj terminal for the large influx of pilgrims to Mecca. Given the increase in travelers and pilgrims, the expansion of this airport became necessary.

The expansion project was large because it was extended with a terminal building for 30 million passengers per year with an area of ​​670,000 m2 and dimensions of 1,000 × 1,300 m. It also includes, as part of the extension, the placement of a new control tower, one of the highest in the world with 135 meters, and several buildings supporting the airport’s operations.

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Due to the great magnitude of the project and that the total term to carry it out, it had only 10 months, including the project and the work, it was essential to hire and mobilize more than 100 professionals among BIM engineers and modelers, with 10 office staff of Arup, seven in the United States, two European and one in the Middle East. Therefore, a huge joint work effort was required in addition to the BIM modeling of the entire designed structure.Almost the entire structure of the terminal building was built in its spaces of use with reinforced concrete, while, that the roofs were armed with metal structure.

There are eight fire stations inside the airport grounds, in addition to another station that is outside the airport grounds for structural fires. Emergency and ambulance services are available to all airport users. Firefighters are served by 172 Saudi employees. In addition, there are 196 technicians, firefighters, firefighters and paramedics, made available by the fire and rescue contractor.

Mecca Airport


The airport is designed with several terminals such as the southern terminal, which is reserved for Saudi Arabian Airlines. Likewise, there is the Hajj terminal, which is mostly used during the Hajj period, it is composed of two halves. The south is open (without air conditioning) and has minimal comfort. The north is made up of boarding bridges, with several glazed and air-conditioned waiting rooms.

Who built the Mecca Airport?

The construction of the airport began in 1974, and was completed in 1980, it was a work of the Bangladeshi engineer Fazlur Rahman Khan for the firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. Finally, in 1981, the airport was inaugurated.

Importance for Believers

Since, the airport is an aerial installation located north of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, it is very close to the Islamic city of the Mecca / Makkah, therefore, the airport is intended to approach through the Hajj terminal, for the believers to the Mecca. In fact, this terminal was specially built to serve foreign pilgrims bound for the Mecca in order to participate in the rituals associated with the annual Hajj.

Many airlines from Muslim and non-Muslim countries arrive at the Hajj terminal, supporting the necessary capacity to serve pilgrims arriving in Saudi Arabia. It was designed by the architecture company S.O.M.

The Hajj terminal of the Jeddah airport is 465,000 m², the fourth largest terminal in the world, after the Hong Kong International Airport, Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi, and the Seoul-Incheon Airport. It has an area of ​​405,000 m² and is very famous due to the design of its roof in the form of a tent. The Hajj terminal offers pilgrims many facilities including a mosque, being able to accommodate up to 80,000 passengers simultaneously.

The main economic activity in Mecca is the provision of services to pilgrims. Merchants offer their products to travelers, at large fairs that take place during the pilgrimage month. There is a very large annual influx of visitors, and the city’s transportation network is well developed.

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Location and Dimensions of The most close Mecca airport

The King Abdulaziz International Airport, has a located arrival space, with about six border controls, three luggage belts and three customs posts. Likewise, two check-in rooms are located in the exit space. After a lobby, in addition to customs, a duty-free shop and the boarding room are also located, and has a fast-food restaurant with Wi-Fi.

There is no public transport at this airport. Boarding and disembarking is by bus, with a parking lot located between the two main terminals. It is used by almost all airlines.

The terminal names are the southern terminal, which is reserved for Saudi Arabian Airlines. Likewise, there is the Hajj terminal, which is mostly used during the Hajj period, it is composed of two halves. The south is open (without air conditioning) and has minimal comfort. The north consists of boarding bridges, with several glazed waiting rooms and air conditioning.

For its part, the Real terminal is the most luxurious and is exclusively used by the King and his family. It consists of two two bridges and is located between the two main terminals, to the west.

The King Khalid International Airport is located 35 kilometers (22 miles) north of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and was designed by the architecture studio Hellmuth, Obata and Kassabaum. It was inaugurated under the auspices of the Guardian of the two sacred shrines, King Fahd bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud, Safar in 1983.

The airport measures approximately 225 square kilometers and includes terminals, a mosque, a control tower and an airfield with two parallel take-off runways, each 4,200 meters (13,800 feet) long, the Royal Pavilion, the Air Freight Building, the Post office, the Private Aviation Building, but also land crossings, aircraft parking spaces and a shopping center.

The airport is the gateway to the capital of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and is the national center of air transport. It was built to meet international and local air transport requirements for the Riyadh region.

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