RIYADH — The Shoura Council has approved the use of Taif Airport for the arrival and departure of Haj and Umrah pilgrims.
The use of Taif Airport will help reduce the pressure on King Abdul Aziz International Airport in Jeddah, a statement by the Council said Monday.
Taif Airport is located 30 km to the east of Taif and 70 km from Makkah.
In 2009, it was upgraded into a regional airport when the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) allowed international airlines to operate from the airport as the city’s population was increasing and also in view of the huge load on three main airports.
The Council during its discussion of two annual reports of the Ministry of Haj also approved that Tawafa establishments for pilgrims from abroad should be responsible for the housing of pilgrims belonging to these establishments.
By Thursday, a total of 109,670 pilgrims had arrived in the Kingdom for this year’s Haj season, according to an announcement made by the Director General of Passports Department Lt. General Salem Bin Mohammed Al-Bilaihid.
More than 20,000 pilgrims had arrived in Madinah by Saturday, according to a report of the Secretariat of the Haj Committee in Madinah.
The Shoura Council also approved recommendations to increase the capacity of Mina, said Bin Metad Al-Hamad, Assistant Speaker of the Shoura. — SG/SPA