In preparations for the Hajj season, the general command of the Saudi General Security Aviation Command announced on Thursday that it has started implementing the first phase of its security plan to ensure the safety of pilgrims in the kingdom.
The Aviation Command will start its security operations over the holy sites, where special helicopters will be monitoring the activities surrounding the hajj season this year.
The General Commander of the Aviation Command, General Engineer Hassan bin Zayed al-Bassam, said that the first phase of the plan is already in full force. The planes are stationed in the designated locations in Mecca and Madinah from various bases to carry out the tasks assigned to them, namely traffic and security, logistical support for other security bodies, humanitarian services and the monitoring of pilgrims not following the rules.
In addition to the support of the aviation security unit in the Medina area to keep pace with the pilgrimage between Medina and Mecca before and after the performance of Hajj, where the highways between these two holy cities high traffic density, they will also be tasked with medical evacuations.
Bassam added that aviation forces are conducting continuous rounds around the holy sites and trying out different landing positions that are available in central locations and in hospitals to determine their readiness. He said that about 526 officers and soldiers are involved in the aviation security forces, including technicians and administrative employees. He added that there are 21 specialized multi-tasking aircrafts stationed in Medina and Mecca.
Bassam also said that the aircrafts are equipped with night vision systems, thermal cameras, modern communication techniques, medical and ambulatory equipment, as well as crews and cadres with high training who have gained accumulated experience from previous Hajj seasons to be able to monitor security phenomena and traffic from the air, and to send immediate reports to the concerned authorities