For years, people have complained from traveling through Kuwait International Airport, which receives millions of travelers. So the decision to finally build a new airport came to us as a breath of fresh air. I know that the completion of the new airport will take years, but what made everyone feel a little comfortable is the opening of the new T4 passenger terminal.
The new terminal was opened this year under the patronage and presence of HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah. The building is located north of Kuwait International Airport and covers an area of about 55,000 sq m. It was allocated for Kuwait Airways and its subsidiaries. The terminal is designed to reduce the burden and congestion from the existing building that is usually crowded, especially in the seasons of travel and holidays – and they are many indeed.
So T4, as well as Sheikh Saad Airport (T3) and the T5 passenger terminal building, will reduce pressure on Kuwait International Airport and provide better services for passengers until the new terminal (T2) is ready in 2022. The T4 project also provides new work opportunities and additional revenues of $60 million annually. This is perfect. It is about time.
I have traveled several times since the opening of the new terminal. The first time was a pleasant experience despite the negatives that I wish will end very soon. The building is undoubtedly massive and able to accommodate large numbers of passengers and cars. There are support services provided by staff who are ready to help passengers, which is indeed a good gesture. Yet, I looked around for money exchange shops and failed to find one. I wanted to have a decent lunch, but I only found some cafes scattered around, and some had no seats or tables.
I did not want coffee or sandwiches and wanted to eat a proper lunch, so I went to the first class and business class lounge, which in most countries accept credit card holders, but they told me that I must be a first class or business class passenger to enter the lounge. Worldwide, you can enter these halls by using your credit card, but the female employee did not have any instructions on what to do in such cases. I believe this is an issue that needs to be resolved and clarified soon. I decided to sit outside and luckily, I did not wait for long until the gate opened.
Recently, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation announced the signing of a contract for the new passenger terminal for the implementation, investment and maintenance of shops with a well-known and reputable local company. I was thrilled to see this report. I believe that the new terminal is spacious, and the staff is nice as well, which makes traveling on Kuwait Airways easy and convenient. But the absence of some shops that are essentially needed by travelers is a matter of urgency, and since the tender has been finalized, I wish the civil aviation administration will work quickly with the local company in opening the required facilities soon to make the travel experience complete.
By Muna Al-Fuzai