The official ban on smoking at King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah was implemented yesterday. All passengers, visitors, staff and employees are obligated to abide by the smoking ban or face a payment of a SR 200 fine.
“The fine will be imposed on anyone not following the regulations as per the directive issued prohibiting smoking in all airport facilities across the Kingdom,” stated Eng. Mazen Khashoggi, Director General of King Abdulaziz International Airport.
“We will not be lax on this matter and any offender will be fined regardless,” continued Eng. Mazen. “We look forward to seeing the smoking ban implemented to insure all our airports are healthy environments that appeal to all especially the elderly and children. Airport personnel, employees, staff and all entities that deal with the airport will be the first to ensure they abide by the ban and work for the safety and wellbeing of others; insuring that we at all times present a civilized image the positively reflects our services for our guests.”
Specially trained security personnel will be responsible for the supervision and follow up of the ban and issuing the SR 200 fine for anyone found in violation in all airport terminals and facilities that include: cafeterias and restaurants, restrooms, gates, waiting lounges, offices, etc. Fines will be imposed not only on the passengers but airport personnel including the airlines at the airports and their staff, retailers, construction teams, security teams, investors in the commercial entities and those they are responsible for.
Working with the airport security to ensure the implementation process will be the General Investigation Department, Passport Control, Airport Police and Customs, ensuring that nobody is smoking on the premises especially within their areas of jurisdiction, with help from airport security as needed.
To ensure the ban is effectively launched a series of training sessions are underway with the security teams and key departments on dealing with the public and means of creating awareness.
As per the directive issued, all fines collected from smokers who violate the ban will be deposited in a special account for the Anti-Smoking Project in the Ministry of Health to support the awareness programs being implemented
“We are very confident in the implementation of the no smoking ban and that it’s a positive step in our endeavor to achieve the best in quality and services that demonstrate King Abdulaziz International Airport’s commitment to maintaining the highest standards in order to continuously enhance the quality of services and the airport’s atmosphere, which includes the provision of a smoke free environment as required by the global service standards,” commented Eng. Mazen.
Research shows that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia ranks fourth globally in terms of cigarette consumption even though its rank from the population perspective is #41. Based on such a statistic the decision to implement the no smoking ban across the airports in the Kingdom aims to help in the decrease of the smoking phenomena and support the positioning of the Kingdom compared to the advanced nations.
Enforcement of the prohibition regulation in King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah is part of the strategic plans for development and enhancement of its operational standards from a technical and safety element. It is a commitment from the airport to ensure achievement of the commercial and social objectives that it was founded upon; building on stakeholder relationships with all beneficiaries including employees to provide the best possible value.