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King Abdulaziz International Airport

Hajj Terminal
Airport information
 Location of airport in Saudi Arabia
Airport typeMilitary/Public
OperatorGeneral Authority of Civil Aviation
LocationAl Madinah Al Munawwarah Road
HubSaudi Arabian Airlines
Elevation15 m (48 ft)

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King Abdulaziz International Airport (KAIA) ( ) is an aviation facility located 19 km to the north of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Named after King Abdulaziz Al Saud, the airport is Saudi Arabia's third largest air facility and busiest airport by passenger. The airport occupies an area of 15 square kilometers. Beside the airport proper, this includes a royal terminal, facilities of the Royal Saudi Air Force, and housing facilities for the airport staff.

Construction work on KAIA airport began in 1974, and was finalized in 1980. Finally, on May 31, 1981, the airport opened for service after having been officially inaugurated in April 1981.

Because of Jeddah's closeness to Islam's holy city of Mecca/Makkah, the airport stands for one feature in particular: the Hajj Terminal specially built to handle foreign pilgrims destined for Makkah to take part in the rituals associated with the annual Hajj. Many airlines from Muslim and non-Muslim countries have used the Hajj Terminal, providing the capacity needed to carry pilgrims to Saudi Arabia. It was designed by Fazlur Rahman Khan of the architectural firm Skidmore, Owings and Merrill LLP (SOM) and engineered by Horst Berger while at Geiger Berger Associates.

The North Terminal at Jeddah airport is used by all foreign airlines. The South Terminal was reserved for the exclusive use of Saudi Arabian Airlines until 2007, when the privately owned Saudi carriers Nas Air and Sama Airlines were also given permission to use it. Jeddah-KAIA airport serves as a major hub for Saudi Arabian Airlines.

The Jeddah airport Hajj Terminal is estimated to be, at five million square feet (465,000 m2), among the world's largest air terminals after Beijing Capital International Airport, Dubai International Airport and Hong Kong International Airport. It covers over 100 acres (405,000 m2) and is known for its tent-shaped roof. Terminal 3's roof is not actually a tent, but a white colored fiberglass. The Hajj Terminal offers pilgrims many facilities, including a mosque, and can accommodate 80,000 travelers at the same time.

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