By Arab News
Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah has renamed the Qassim Regional Airport in Buraidah as the Prince Naif bin Abdul Aziz Airport.
“The king’s order perpetuates the memory of Prince Naif who dedicated his life to his religion, king and nation,” said Qassim Gov. Prince Faisal bin Bandar in a statement.
Prince Naif, who died in Geneva on June 16, 2012, following an illness, was the Kingdom’s crown prince, deputy premier and minister of interior.
The king’s gesture indicates the depth of his love and regard toward the late prince, the governor said.
The airport, which is owned and operated by the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA), is 30 kms west of Buraidah, capital of the Qassim province. Flights are operated from Prince Naif Airport to Sharjah, Cairo, Dubai, Bahrain, Doha and Istanbul apart from domestic destinations such as Riyadh, Jeddah, Dammam and Madinah.
Prince Sultan, former crown prince, deputy premier and minister of defense and aviation, who died last year, inaugurated the expansion project of the royal terminal at the Qassim Regional Airport in 2003. GACA has spent more than SR 300 million on the airport’s expansion projects since it was established in 1964.
There are 27 domestic and three international airports in the Kingdom, which were constructed at a total cost of more than SR 50 billion.
According to GACA President Prince Fahd bin Abdullah, the capacity of King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah, which is currently undergoing a massive expansion, will be increased to 80 million passengers in 20 years.
Prince Fahd said the new Jeddah airport is designed to become one of the largest hubs in the world. Covering an area of 670,000 square meters, the new airport will have 82 domestic, international and VIP lounges in addition to 96 air bridges.