This Day in History

This Day in History (1979): International terminal opens at Dhahran Airport

The expansion was expected to be able to handle an addition of 2 million passengers annually.

This Day in History (1979): International terminal opens at Dhahran Airport

From the Nov. 21, 1979 edition of The Arabian Sun.


A new international terminal — designed and equipped to handle more than 2 million passengers a year -- opens to the public today at the Dhahran International Airport, thereby completing the first phase in a comprehensive scheme to expand and upgrade airport facilities.


"Our passenger traffic is growing at a rate of 35 percent a year," said Airport director Sami Maqbul. In 1979 alone, 1 and three-quarter million international passengers and one and a half million domestic passengers are expected to use the airport. Air cargo will reach 39 million kilograms. The number of flights will approximate 75,000.


To accommodate the growth in traffic, work began two years ago not only to expand terminal facilities, but also to upgrade flight-control equipment and landing facilities.


Work has also begun on lengthening, strengthening, and widening the airport's two main runways to accommodate the larger jumbo jets.


Caption for top photo: Starting today (Nov. 21, 1979), airline passengers headed for destinations outside the Kingdom will check in for their flights in this well-equipped lounge located in the new Dhahran International Terminal. A combined post office, telegraph, and telephone area can be seen at the left of the photo where passengers may place calls anywhere in the world. A car-rental agency is located next to the PTT area. Check-in counters can be seen at the far right.


Also on this day in history:


2019 — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is indicted on charges of bribery, fraud, and breach of trust.


2013 — Ukraine sees massive protests after its president, Viktor Yanukovych, suspends signing the Ukraine-European Union Association Agreement.


2002 — NATO invites Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia to join the organization


1992 — A major tornado strikes the Houston, Texas, area, one of more than 100 that will sweep through the U.S. in a matter of days


1972 — Voters in South Korea approve by a wide margin a new constitution, providing a boost to Park Chung-hee and the Fourth Republic


1969 — Japan and the U.S. agree to return control of Okinawa to the Japanese


1916 — The HMHS Britannic is sunk, making it the largest ship lost in World War I


1877 — Thomas Edison announces the invention of the phonograph


1694 — Famed French writer and philosopher Voltaire is born


1620 — Plymouth Colony settlers sign the Mayflower Compact


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