The Crown Prince Sultan bin abdulaziz al saud, deputy premier and minister of defense and aviation and chairman of the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA), approved ban on smoking inside all Saudi airports and a SR200 fine for violators on monday.
President of GACA, Abdullah Al-Rahimi, said the new rule has been developed by GACA in cooperation with other relevant bodies, and that the objective is to create a healthy, clean and smoke-free environment at airports across the Kingdom.
Al-Rahimi said airports have been asked to enforce the ban from Dul Hijjah 1 which would be Nov. 7. He also requested airport staff and passengers to stop smoking inside airports and to co-operate with airport security in respecting the ban.
Director of the Central Department for Aviation Security, Abdul Hameed Abalary said the new regulation comprises of 11 articles, and that GACA will strictly implement it.
Special smoking areas will be assigned inside the Kingdom’s airports for smokers. Airport employees who smoke will be fined, have their airport security cards seized and given official warnings.
Fines will be given by airport security, which works under the Royal Air Force. Smokers who are fined will be asked for their Saudi ID cards or iqamas. All money got will be put in a special anti-smoking fund belonging to the Ministry of Health.
Questioned how foreign visitors who do not have iqamas will be fined, Khaled Al-Khaibari, the GACA spokesman, said they constitute a small percentage of people who use airports and are usually familiar with smoking rules in their home countries. He added that airport staff will announce warnings through microphones, and that warning boards will also convey the message.
When asked whether the new rule will be productive in stamping out the problem, Khaled Al-Khaibari said yes, as it will be enforced strictly.