Saudi Gazette observes Arafat Stand from air

Monday, August 20, 2018

Saudi Gazette

ARAFAT — Saudi Gazette Makkah bureau chief on Monday boarded a S92 aircraft of the security aviation, which flew at 2,000 feet above sea level, and monitored the stand of over two million pilgrims in Arafat.

The stand on Arafat, which is the climax of the pilgrimage, started early morning Monday and will continue until sunset when the pilgrims will go to Muzdalifa to pray Maghreb and Isha together and stay there until after midnight when they will proceed to Mina for the other sequential rituals to throw pebbles at the Satan, shave off their hair, slaughter their sacrificial sheep, change into plain clothes and go to Makkah to do tawaf Al-Ifada.

Commander of the security aviation Maj. Gen. Hassan Bin Zayed Al-Bassam said they have mobilized all their resources and potential to implement their Haj plan this year.

"We have deployed all our human and technical resources to watch the stand of the pilgrims on Arafat and monitor their descent to Muzdalifa and from there to Mina early Tuesday," he said.

Bassam said they would continue their air surveillance of the movement of the pilgrims until the 13th of Dhul Hijja (Aug. 24).

"After that, we will watch the movement of the pilgrims from Makkah to Madinah to pay homage to Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and pray at his mosque," he said.

Bassam said this year the security aviation is participating with 526 staff of officers and privates in addition to 21 multi-duty aircraft including eight new H145 airplanes.

According to him, the security aviation will monitor the security state of the pilgrims and the traffic movement, will provide logistical support to the other security sectors, will do air-evacuation tasks and closely watch the movement of pilgrims between Makkah and Madinah before and after the Haj.