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Mon 30 Mar 2015 04:19 PM

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New Madinah airport ready for testing

Mohammad Bin Abdulaziz International Airport in Islam’s second holiest city will have a capacity to handle 8m passengers annually

New Madinah airport ready for testing

Saudi aviation authorities will begin testing the new airport at Madinah during April, Saudi Gazette reported.

Mohammad Bin Abdulaziz International Airport covers about 4m sqm and has a capacity to handle 8m passengers annually.

It is expected to be open to the public in time for this year’s Umrah and Haj pilgrimages, when millions of Muslims will travel to the religion’s two holiest city, Makkah and Madinah.

The airport includes 153,000 sqm for arrival and departure halls and 16 departure gates.

There will be 64 check-in counters, plus 24 self -service facilities. During the Haj season, 16 additional self-service counters will be installed.

The kingdom is building or upgrading 28 airports across the country as it modernises and expands is burgeoning air travel industry.

King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah, about 400kms south of Madinah and the kingdom’s busiest airport, also is undergoing a three-stage redevelopment to increase annual capacity from 13m to 80m passengers. Started in 2006, it is not due for completion until 2035.

The new expansion plan for Riyadh’s King Khaled International Airport aims at increasing its capacity from 12m to 35m.

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