WORLD’S FIRST PROOF OF CONCEPT FOR HAJJ PILGRIMS PRE-CLEARANCE CONDUCTED AT KL INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
24 August 2017
SEPANG – The world’s first proof of concept (POC) for pre-clearance of Hajj pilgrims at the point of departure was conducted for the first time today, 24 August 2017, at KL International Airport (KLIA). This is an initiative led by the government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) under KSA Vision 2030. The POC event was witnessed by the Deputy Minister of Transport Malaysia, Datuk Abdul Aziz Kaprawi.
This initiative is aimed at facilitating the arrivals of all pilgrims into KSA. Specifically, this initiative will eliminate the need for long queues by pilgrims at immigration points in KSA as experienced in the past providing them with more time for their ‘ibadah’.
KSA Immigration has been working closely with KSA-based ELM and Malaysia-based XYBASE to implement this POC phase where KLIA has been chosen as the pilot site. The POC is planned for three days starting today involving the last three flights of LTH pilgrims beginning with Malaysia Airlines charter flight MH8146 carrying 287 pilgrims.
According to Malaysia Airports managing director Datuk Badlisham Ghazali, “Malaysia Airports is delighted to be part of this milestone development. Apart from the fact that it is in line with our mission to ensure a joyful experience for our passengers, it is also part of a larger picture to establish KLIA as a regional hub. Upon a successful POC, we expect that the live implementation will take place beginning 2018 and this will definitely make KLIA more attractive for pilgrims from around the region to depart from our airport.”
The chairman of Lembaga Tabung Haji Datuk Seri Panglima Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim who was also present said “We are very honoured to be involved in this pilot POC as it is a testament to our reputation in KSA as the best Hajj management organisation. We are highly supportive of this initiative and hope that the live implementation will go ahead as planned in order to improve the efficiency of our Hajj operations and enhance the comfort of the pilgrims.”
All 287 pilgrims undergoing this POC phase will go through immigration clearance by KSA before boarding their flight in KLIA. Upon their arrival at the Hajj Terminal King Abdulaziz International Airport, they will be escorted through a special lane without having to go through the normal immigration clearance there, saving them hours of waiting time.