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Air traffic control center in Riyadh is operational
By Diana Al-Jassem
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 23 - 02 - 2009

The General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) on Sunday began the experimental operation of a regional air traffic control center at King Khaled International Airport in Riyadh which will control Saudi airspace between 35,000 feet to 46,000 feet in elevation.
“The operation of the center is an important step in the development of air navigation services in the Kingdom in that it will increase the absorption capacity of Saudi airspace, meet the requirements of users as well as provide necessary services to meet the steady increase in air traffic in the region,” said Muhammad Bin Ahmad Al-Salmi, GACA Vice President.
According to Al-Salmi, a similar center will be established at King Abdul Aziz International Airport in Jeddah to control the lower part of Saudi airspace at an elevation between 15,000 to 35,000 feet.
Maintaining the smooth flow of air traffic with a maximum degree of safety is in accordance with the standards and the requirements of the World Civil Aviation Organization. That is our goal too, added Al-Salmi.
“We are providing the most advanced technology used in global air traffic management systems,” he added.
According to Al-Salmi, the project was established at a cost of more than SR220 million, and it took the GACA four years to finalize the two centers.
“The two centers, which will work for the regional control of air traffic management, complement each other and provide each other with air traffic information,” added Al-Salmi.
King Khaled International Airport occupies an approximate area of 225 sq. km. and contains utilities and facilities, such as, shopping centers, royal pavilion, air cargo building, post office, private aviation building, mosque, control tower, and an aviation square that contains two parallel runaways each measuring 4200 meters in length, in addition to land passages and aircraft parking spaces.
The peripheral buildings of the airport include: the central administration complex, the public safety complex, the main firefighting station, two branch firefighting stations, the communication building, the meteorology center, the supply and central kitchen building, the land services equipment maintenance workshops, the utilities maintenance sections complex and the internal residential compound for families and bachelors.

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