Air Transport World

Saudi Arabia opens new King Khaled International Airport.

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia--opening by King Fahd of a new airport to serve the capital of this oil-rich country marks the second work on a third major facility (the first was at Jeddah, opened three years ago) just starting in the eastern province. As ever, the Saudis thought big here: the airpot covers 86 square miles of what was featureless desert, costing the equvalent of $3.5 billion to design and develop, and will handle a forecasted 15 million passengers a year through four terminals, each with eight jetways, by the end of this century.

Planning for King Khaled International Airport (KKIA) began September, 1974, and start of construction was approved July, 1978. A total of 14,000 workers from 35 countries were shipped in and accommodated in camps on site, concrete-making plants were established, and 900,000 tons of goods were ordered from overseas--and tracked on their day-by-day progress along the shipping lanes of the world by computer. Development was the responsibility of the Saudi Ministry of defence and Aviation, headed by Prince Sultan, and the International Airports Projects headed by General Said Amin, but U. …

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