RIYADH: Spreading over 510,000-sq-m, the Hajj terminal at the Jeddah airport, after up-gradation can accommodate 175,000 pilgrims at a time – 91,000 at the arrival lounge and 84,000 in the departure lounge, said a report.
Under new arrangements, the airport facilities and personnel will be able to clear 3,800 arriving pilgrims and 3,500 departing ones in an hour. The waiting areas can accommodate 7,000 pilgrims at a time.
These figures were revealed during the visit of Prince Abdullah bin Bandar bin Abdul Aziz, Deputy Governor of the Makkah region, to the Hajj and Umrah Complex at King Abdul Aziz International Airport on Sunday last.
The prince was briefed on government services for receiving pilgrims, including those by the Health Ministry, GACA, and the passports and customs departments.
A warning was also issued by the General Directorate of Passports for those transporting pilgrims without licenses, the penalty for which included a fine of SR50,000 ($13,333) for every passenger carried, six-month jail and confiscation of the vehicle transporting the unauthorized pilgrims, a report said.
Expatriates violating the rules will be deported after serving their sentences and paying the fines, following which they will be banned from re-entering the kingdom.
During Hajj season last year, the passport authorities issued 101 administrative decisions against 574 violators, it said.
Performing pilgrimage without a permit is illegal in the Kingdom, and every year authorities launch campaigns for citizens and expatriates about the importance of complying with the regulations.