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.
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.
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. 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
|1.Getting To Terminal||2 hours |
|No Escorts |
|Do Thermal Check||Sanitize Hands|
|2.Checking In||2-Meter distancing||Use ePay &|
|Sit In Alternate |
Waiting Room Seats
|Use Glass |
Screens With Airport
|3.Boarding Plane||Board Plane|
|Enter The Bus/Plane|
|Always Wear Masks|
& Disinfect Hands
|4.In-Flight||Wear Masks & Gloves||Sit In Alternate Seats||One Piece|
Hand Luggage Only
|Apply Social Distancing|
|5.Getting Off Plane||Phased Deplaning||Wear Masks|
|6.Collecting Baggage||In Waiting Area|
|In Baggage Area|
|7.Leaving Terminal||Maintain |
|Throw Masks |
|Use ePay &|
|Return Trolley |
Summary of Passenger Obligations At ALL Saudi Airports
- 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 Exams||Frequent|
|4. Disinfect Entire Airport Every 3 Hours||28 Airports|
|5. Disinfect ALL Airplanes After Flights||Cleaning Crews|
|6. 3 Hours Separate Departures and Arrivals||To Allow Disinfection|
|7. Restrict & Isolate Infected Passengers||Thermal Screening|
|8. No Boarding Passengers With COVID-19 Symptoms||Thermal Screening|
|9. Request Medical Disclosures If COVID-19 Symptoms Present||Airport and Airline Staff|
|10. Use ONLY 50% Of Bridge/Bus Capacity||Boarding and |
|11. Provide Electronic Ticket Machines||ePay ONLY|
|12. All Passengers Get Thermal Screening||Check Symptoms|
Summary Of GACA Commitments To Airline Passengers
- 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
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 Airlines.