A 90-year-old proud journey to the sky

Gigantic achievements and unlimited interest in establishing and developing airports

Riyadh – :

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia lived a journey of pride and great achievements that spanned over ninety years. A Saudi journey filled with pride in a glorious past and a bright future. Ever since, the Kingdom’s founder, King Abdulaziz bin Abdulrahman Al Saud (may God have mercy on him) declared this country unification under the present name of (The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia) on the twenty-third of September 1932. The establishment of the largest and most important unity in modern history, a unity that culminated in the great efforts and struggle of the founder, King Abdulaziz (may God rest his soul). He was able to establish a strong state that is firm and great in its mission and achievements, and in its regional and international standing.

The Kingdom witnessed prosperity, and developmental progress in all fields, meanwhile, in the civil aviation sector, the unifying founder King Abdulaziz (may God have mercy on him) laid its first building blocks for this sector. The founder believed in the role of this industry as a basic and necessary element for the renaissance of this country whose area exceeds two million square kilometers. He was looking ahead to the future with his usual wisdom and insight into the importance of developing modern and fast means of transportation in his young kingdom. A transportation sector that will contribute to its economic renaissance and link the various parts of the vast country to each other, and to the outside world.

The year 1945 witnessed the landing of a civilian “Dakota DC3” plane in Jeddah, and that plane was a gift from US President Roosevelt to King Abdulaziz following the historic meeting that brought the two men together on board the American cruiser (USS Quincy) at the Great Bitter Lakes. In return the great founder donated his private plane gifted to him by the American President to the people of the Kingdom. Shortly thereafter, domestic flights began between Riyadh, Jeddah and Dhahran, and after a few months, the founder ordered the purchase of two more aircrafts of the same type, and the three aircraft formed the first nucleus of civil aviation in the Kingdom.

The civil aviation sector has received great attention and generous expenditures on its projects from the kings of the Saudi state since the era of the founding king (may God rest his soul) and his sons, the kings, who continued with the same legacy of building and achieving giant developmental achievements over many decades, to reach the Kingdom to a prominent global position on the levels and all fields, one of which is the civil aviation sector.

And thus, the successive kings of this country and throughout its history built an integrated system of airports all over the country. It reached (28) airports, receiving millions of travelers from inside and outside the Kingdom. The city of Jeddah witnessed the construction of the first integrated and modern airport in the Kingdom. It was inaugurated in the year 1372 Hijri (1952 Gregorian) under the auspices of King Saud bin Abdulaziz (may God have mercy on him) and who was Crown Prince at that time. King Saud inaugurated Dhahran International Airport in 1962, and at the end of the seventies and the beginning of the eighties many modern airports were opened in all regions of the Kingdom. The most prominent of these was the inauguration of King Khalid bin Abdulaziz (may God have mercy on him) King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah in the year 1981 to replace the old Jeddah airport.

In 1983, the capital, Riyadh, witnessed a remarkable event with the inauguration of one of the major airports in the region, King Khalid International Airport by King Fahd bin Abdulaziz (may God have mercy on him) to replace the old Riyadh airport.

Meanwhile, in the eastern region, King Fahd International Airport was established in Dammam, which was inaugurated In 1999 by King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz (may God have mercy on him) who was the Crown Prince at that time. Thus, King Fahd International Airport replaced Dhahran International Airport, and in 2009, King Abdullah inaugurated the new Prince Abdulmohsen bin Abdulaziz airport in Yanbu. Furthermore, The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz (may God protect him) inaugurated the new Prince Mohammed bin Abdulaziz International Airport in Madinah in 2015.

And in September of the year 2019, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud inaugurated Terminal (1) at the new King Abdulaziz International Airport, which is one of the largest airports in the region and is considered a pioneering development project that contributes to the development of air traffic in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

All these major achievements accomplished by the kings of this great country contributed to the development of the air transport system in the Kingdom, and made the Kingdom respected and appreciated and reached a prominent position at the international level.

The Kingdom played and continue to play vital roles in bringing the air transport industry to the best international levels, and contributed to the consolidation of cooperation amongst countries around the world in the field of civil aviation. Further, it helped in the formulation of international decisions in the various fields of the air transport industry, foremost of which is safety and security. The Kingdom was able to build an integrated system of modern airports, and was keen to educate and train the people of the country in the field of civil aviation and its sciences to be able to lead the way and chart the future of these  Industry, which is the main engine of international economic growth.

A journey of pride that began 90 years ago continues to soar through the sky, as the General Authority for Civil Aviation (GACA) seeks to develop the international and domestic airports network in the Kingdom, according to the latest global methods and technologies, and to build a modern airport system that provides advanced modern services. This is in an effort to enhances the improvement of services provided to travelers, while achieving sustainable development and the main contributor in achieving the Kingdom’s vision 2030. Furthermore, strengthening the position of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia globally as an influential country in the international civil aviation industry.

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