The worst airport in the world

The worst airport in the world

Abdo Khal

Abdo KhalBy Abdu Khal

I ALMOST laughed when I read the news that the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) was surprised by a recent report that rated King Abdulaziz International Airport (KAIA) in Jeddah as the second worst airport in the world. GACA launched an investigation into the reason why the airport was rated so poorly. Are they serious about the investigation when we, the travelers who depart from and arrive at the airport, have already confirmed that the airport is the worst. I do not think that we need a report to classify this airport because we already know it is in bad shape.

I am surprised that GACA is acting as if they did not know how bad the airport is. If their surprise is an act to indirectly notify the higher authorities that they had no idea about the state of the airport, then we can describe this act of surprise as proof of negligence. But if they really were surprised that the airport is so bad, then God help us.

Do officials seriously not know just how bad this airport is? Haven’t they seen the long lines of people, the limited number of chairs, the luggage delays and a lack of general services at the airport? This is on top of poor hygiene and the huge traffic jam outside the airport. If GACA officials were surprised, then this means one thing: GACA officials have not visited the airport to check on its condition. They must have been visiting the VIP lounge but not the rest of the airport that everyone else uses.

Two years ago there was a similar report that rated KAIA as the world’s worst airport. King Fahd Airport in Dammam and King Khalid International Airport came in as the fifth worst. It has taken two years for KAIA to move from the world’s worst airport to world’s second worst. I ask GACA here: Is that an achievement?

If I have to add one observation to how bad Jeddah airport is, it is what is happening at the North Terminal. A visitor may think that they are in a different country because most of the workers are non-Saudi, except for the customs and passport control officers. It is important that workers and supervisors should be Saudis. I am sure this information will not make GACA surprised, and if they were, then they should open an investigation.