New GACA Passenger Safety Rules (Post Lockdown) In Saudi Airports & Flights

I am so glad that flights have returned to normal out of Saudi Arabia’s 28 national airports.

It is somewhat of a relief to all of us that following weeks of Coronavirus flight lockdown, the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) together with the Ministry of Health, has put together a new plan of airport safety operations.

New 1 km Long Terminal Building At KAIA Airport Complex

It consists of a series of very sensible preventative measures and procedures that airport staff and passengers in all 28 of the kingdom’s airports must follow as a means to combat the spread of COVID-19 in the kingdom.

So, what are the new Saudi GACA safety rules for its airports?

All airport personnel, ground, flying crews & passengers are expected to implement a raft of Coronavirus combating measures that include a program of sterilization, wearing masks & gloves, social distancing, and use ePayment instead of cash. Also, in the waiting areas and onboard flights, passengers must sit two seats apart and always keep at least 2-meters away from others throughout the airport and during flights.

VIDEO: Precautionary measures put in place at Saudi Arabia's King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah with the resumption of domestic flights. —

VIDEO: Precautionary measures put in place at Saudi Arabia's King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah with the resumption of domestic flights. —

Posted by Saudi Gazette on Sunday, May 31, 2020
New Safety Precautions In Action At The New KAIA Terminal, Jeddah

Sadly, during the Coronavirus lockdown (March-May 2020), I noticed many people ignoring or perhaps forgetting the social distancing rules, especially at supermarket checkouts, and when making lines outside restaurants.

That is why in airports and inside tightly spaced airplanes, the GACA is strictly enforcing the new preventative measures.

They are to ensure that staff and passengers perform good disinfecting routines and maintain social distancing as a way to reduce the risk of more people contracting the Coronavirus virus in Saudi Arabia.

These measures are offered in the form of passenger guidelines.Opens in a new tab. They determine both the GACA obligations together with what the airline authority expects of passengers currently using Saudi airports and flights.

The table below is a concise summary of GACA guidelines of behaviors and practices for passengers arriving for flights at Saudi airports, when checking in, boarding, inflight, disembarking, collecting luggage, and exiting destination airports.

After purchasing airline tickets using electronic means ONLY, passengers must adhere to the following procedures:

Passenger Responsibilities To The GACA At Airports And Flights

Hajj & Umrah Pilgrims Arriving At Jeddah International Airport
Procedures 1234
1.Getting To Terminal2 hours
Before Takeoff
No Escorts
for Elderly
& Infirm
Do Thermal CheckSanitize Hands
Wear Masks
Disinfect Baggage
2.Checking In2-Meter distancingUse ePay &
Less Cash
Sit In Alternate
Waiting Room Seats
Use Glass
Screens With Airport
3.Boarding PlaneBoard Plane
In Phases
2-Meter Distance
In Lines
Enter The Bus/Plane
With Distancing
Always Wear Masks
& Disinfect Hands
4.In-FlightWear Masks & GlovesSit In Alternate SeatsOne Piece
Hand Luggage Only
Apply Social Distancing
5.Getting Off PlanePhased DeplaningWear Masks
Or Covers
Using Devices
Infected Passengers
6.Collecting BaggageIn Waiting Area
Stand On
Floor Signs
In Baggage Area
Stand On
Floor Signs
Disinfect Baggage
Wear Masks
or Covers
7.Leaving TerminalMaintain
2-Meter Distancing
Throw Masks
& Gloves
In Trash
Use ePay &
Less Cash
Return Trolley

Summary of Passenger Obligations At ALL Saudi Airports

New GACA Passenger Rules And Procedures (Post Lock-Down)

Passengers MUST:

  • Buy Airlines Tickets Using ePayment ONLY-No Cash
  • Check-In 2 Hours BEFORE Flight Departure
  • Submit To Thermal (Temperature Reading ) Checks
  • ALWAYS Wear Facemasks/Covers In Airports Or On Flights.
  • Stand At A Distance From Others
  • Use Sanitizers In Terminals
  • Board Flights With One Piece Of Hand Luggage
  • Disclose Medical Problems Or Coronavirus Symptoms

Penalties For Violations Of New GACA Rules

Passenger will be banned from travel if the rules are violated and anti-infection measures not respected.

The obligations begin as soon as passengers purchase their airline tickets via electronic means.

 “Airline passengers are forbidden from entering airports if they are not wearing medical facemasks or face covers……and they must wear gloves during flights and up to leaving the destination airport”

Saudi GACA

GACA Commitments To Airline Passengers

1. Provide Sterilization Liquids & Devices 28 Airports
2. All Staff Wear Masks, Gloves & Disinfect All Times
3. Crew & Staff Obligatory Medical ExamsFrequent
4. Disinfect Entire Airport Every 3 Hours28 Airports
5. Disinfect ALL Airplanes After FlightsCleaning Crews
6. 3 Hours Separate Departures and ArrivalsTo Allow Disinfection
7. Restrict & Isolate Infected PassengersThermal Screening
8. No Boarding Passengers With COVID-19 SymptomsThermal Screening
9. Request Medical Disclosures If COVID-19 Symptoms Present Airport and Airline Staff
10. Use ONLY 50% Of Bridge/Bus CapacityBoarding and
11. Provide Electronic Ticket MachinesePay ONLY
For Plane
12. All Passengers Get Thermal ScreeningCheck Symptoms

Summary Of GACA Commitments To Airline Passengers

Saudi Airlines Flight Landing At The New Jeddah International Airport Terminal
  • All Passengers Get Screened For COVID-19 Symptoms
  • Sterilization Devices and Liquids Given Free Of Charge
  • Provide Disinfecting Areas For Luggage Trolleys
  • Entire Airports Cleaned And Disinfected Every 3 Hours
  • Minimum Of 3 Hours Between Takeoffs and Landings For Cleaning
  • Phased Boarding and Disembarkations
  • Open Spaces In Seating Provided In Waiting Areas
  • Every Other Seat Is Empty On Flights-50% Operational Capacity
  • Cleansing Bridges, Shuttles, Lifts, and Waiting Areas
  • Place Stickers On Floors To Facilitate Social Distancing

Airline passengers who are thermal tested at the entrances to Saudi airports and display a body temperature of 38 degrees C or more will not be allowed to enter and are prohibited from boarding flights.

GACA Authorities

Related Questions

What will happen if I have a body temperature of 38 degrees C or more at Saudi Airports? You will be prohibited from entering the airport, taking your flight and will be sent away.

What are the new seating arrangements on Saudi flights? Airlines will operate at half capacity by allocating passengers to sit on seats separated by empty seats. In effect, there are two seats per passenger.

What kind of hand luggage can I take on flights from Saudi Arabia? First and Business Class passengers can take a 12kg handbag onboard not exceeding 115 cm and briefcase up to 9kg not exceeding 100cm. Guest Class passengers can take handbag 7kg not exceeding 115cm.

Get more hand luggage details at Saudi AirlinesOpens in a new tab..

Useful References And Resources

  1. GACA Airport Passenger Guidelines–
  2. Precautionary measures put in place at KAIAOpens in a new tab.-Saudi Gazette
  3. International Terminal Flights ScheduleOpens in a new tab.-New Jed

Salam Allekum! Hi there! Thanks for reading. Contact the Editor Mohammed Francis directly at with any questions or queries. WhatsApp 00966591319538

Mohammed Francis

I am a UK national, a college teacher, father of 3, writer and blogger.

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