By Saeed Haider
DAMMAM — The City Terminal of King Fahd International Airport started its operation from Sunday with a check-in by fewer passengers.
Monday morning also did not see much crowd at the four newly opened check-in counters at the terminal adjacent to the Saudi Arabian Pubic Transport (SAPTCO) terminal in Dammam.
The City Terminal project Manager, Ahmad Al-Ruwaily, speaking to Saudi Gazette confirmed that GACA (General Authority of Civil Aviation) will soon open similar city check-in counters in Jubail and Al-Ahsa.
He said that many passengers were still not aware of this facility.
At present the facility has four counters. It opens every day at 8 in the morning and close at 10 in the night.
Passengers can check in at the City Terminal between six hours and 24 hours before the scheduled departure of their flights.
As of now six airlines, Egypt Air, Jet Airways, Oman Air, Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), Etihad and Saudi Gulf are accepting passengers at the City Terminal. But soon other airlines will follow suit.
Ahmad Al-Ruwaily said that every airline will eventually join the City Terminal office including Saudi Arabian Airlines.
“Each airline has to configure its system to City Terminal. It will take some time, but eventually all airlines will be offering its check-in services from the City Terminal,” he said.
To promote City Terminal office, GACA has lined up several incentive programs for passengers.
Ahmad Aijaz Khan, a PIA passenger, said it was the best gift for expatriates.
“Normally I had to spend SR150 to SR175 on one-way taxi fare from my home to the airport. Now I just paid SR15 from my home in Al-Rawda and will pay another SR20 to SAPTCO for the trip to the airport,” he said.
SAPTCO is running bus service to the airport every hour and they expect that their business will grow with the new City Terminal.
Ruwaily assured passengers of the safety and security of their baggage. All the baggage will be loaded onto Saudia Ground Services trucks under close watch through CCTV.
All the trucks will be sealed and will have accompanying baggage manifest. At the airport baggage loaded in sealed containers will be brought for security screening and finally sent to respective aircraft.