Meet the pilots breaking their Ramadan fast 2,500 feet above ground
Passing by the mountains, tunnels, expressways and residential districts, these security pilots keep an eye on all corners of Makkah
They break their fast with dates and water while flying 2,500 feet above the ground. They are the pilots of public security helicopters hovering over Makkah to ensure the security and safety of pilgrims and visitors.
Passing by the mountains, tunnels, expressways and residential districts, these security pilots keep an eye on all corners of Makkah, especially near the Grand Mosque and the central area, to prevent any potential dangers. They pass security information to the operations room.
These security officers break their fast in their helicopters. Saudi Gazette was on one of the helicopters during an evening trip recently.
The trip started from a security base in Jeddah. From the sky, we saw massive development projects carried out by the government in Makkah and other holy sites for the welfare of pilgrims.
The streets in Makkah looked vast even from the sky. We crossed the security checkpoint at Shumaisy and the Holy Quran Gateway on the Makkah-Jeddah Expressway and we reached the holy city before Maghreb. The helicopter hovered over the Grand Mosque to monitor the situation in and around the mosque.
The massive prayer area around the Grand Mosque was ready to welcome worshipers. The eastern, western and northern courtyards appeared white due to the presence of a large number of pilgrims in ihram (white seamless cloth worn by pilgrims during umrah and hajj).
This article was first published in the Saudi Gazette on June 20, 2016
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