Passengers at the new Arar Airport following the Saudi Arabian Airlines arrival and departure flights from and to Riyadh during the trial operation phase on Wednesday. — Courtesy photo
RIYADH — The General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) in Saudi Arabia has directed the national air carriers to abide by the decision to allow entry into the Kingdom for holders of Schengen, UK and US visas as well as those having entry visas to European Union countries, irrespective of their nationalities.
There are 26 countries that come under the Schengen visa regime.
According to Sabq newspaper, GACA said that the decision applies to the tourist and business visa holders of all nationalities without exception from the above-mentioned countries.
There will be two conditions for permitting entry of these visa holders. Firstly, the visa shall be valid for use at the time of arrival at any of the Kingdom’s entry points, and continues to be valid after the end of the period of visiting the Kingdom.
Secondly, the visa holder’s passport must have been stamped with an entry visa at least once from the country, which is granting the visa.
GACA called on the national carriers to review their previous conditions with regard to giving entry for holders of visa from these Western countries.
It is noteworthy that the authority had issued a circular on Dec. 4 that instructs the national air carriers to receive holders of Schengen and American visas if they want to visit the Kingdom at any time, as long as the conditions set by the authority are met.
Saudia flights operate at new Arar Airport trials
GACA also stated that the trial operation phase of the new Arar airport in the Northern Border Region is continuing. On Wednesday evening the first Saudi Arabian Airlines arrival and departure flights from and to Riyadh at the new terminal operated successfully. GACA has prepared all the needed requirements for the trial operation of the new terminal at Arar Airport.
The successful start of the trial operation was an exceptional event in The Northern Border Region. It comes as an extension to achieve the objectives of GACA in developing infrastructure and raising the level of services provided to travelers around the Kingdom’s airports. This is one of the methods in contributing toward in the development process of the region.
Furthermore, this is a step toward achieving the strategic goals of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 and keeping with the great development witnessed in the region in all sectors. The new airport will accommodate the growing growth in demand for air travel by the residents of the region and it will be able to provide complete services for travellers according to the highest international standards.
The airport will serve many city centers and small towns in the Northern Border Region. The new airport is a qualitative shift in the field of air transport for the region, as it will provide the best technologies and services that will, in turn, contribute to improving the traveler experience, which is in line with the goals of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 That aims at achieving economic development in all regions around the Kingdom.
The trial operation phase that was inaugurated by GACA on Sunday in the new Arar Airport is a scientific and practical approach that is adopted when implementing most major infrastructure projects around the world. It allows testing of vital facilities in a safe and thoughtful way, where the focus is on testing all operational systems, identify technical problems and address them before the full and complete operation of the airport.
Saudi Gazette report
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