Deputy Prime Minister and Commander of the National Guard Crown Prince Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz today opened the new King Fahd International Airport in the Eastern Province. Also present were Second Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Defense and Aviation and Inspector-General Prince Sultan Bin Abdul Aziz, Minister of Interior Prince Nayef Bin Abdul Aziz, Governor of the Eastern Province Prince Muhammad Bin Fahd Bin Abdul Aziz, and other government officials.
Speaking on the occasion, Head of Civil Aviation Dr. Ali Al-Khalaf recalled the support for aviation given by founder of the modern Kingdom King Abdul Aziz Bin Abdulrahman Al-Saud, that included his gift in 1945 of his private plane as the nucleus of the national airline. Dr. Al-Khalaf went on to say that Saudi Arabian Airlines now serves 30 million passengers every year. The new airport incorporates two main airstrips over 12,000 feet in length, and will in its first phase accommodate 10 million passengers annually. It is easily accessible from the industrial city of Jubail to the north, and to the southeast, the urban complex of Dammam, Dhahran and Al-Khobar.
Yesterday, Prince Sultan issued a statement saying that the new airport had been gifted to the citizens by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Fahd Bin Abdul Aziz, and that it would contribute to the overall economic development of the country. He added that its position is a strategic one, as a connecting point for important air routes linking Europe and the Far East. Prince Sultan went on to emphasize that the government not only builds airports, but seeks the training of Saudi personnel to cope with the latest technology.