Beirut International Airport is witnessing a suffocating traffic.
August is usually the busiest period at the airport, and this year is no exception. Some 20,000 hajj pilgrims are also currently departing Lebanon in order to participate in the holy event next week.
Saudi Ambassador to Lebanon Walid Bukhari said on August 1st that the 20,000 hajj visas for travelers departing from Lebanon were distributed approximately between 10,000 for Lebanese, 6,000 for Syrians and 1,500 for Palestinians.
Syrians have in the past years departed from Lebanon following the closure of the Saudi Embassy in their country due to the war.
At the same time, Shiite worshipers are heading to the cities of Najaf and Karbala in Iraq in droves, and summer travelers are heading to Europe, the U.S. and beyond.
The Internal Security Forces had issued a statement saying congestion at Beirut airport would reach its peak between Aug. 1 and Sept. 15, and asked passengers to arrive to the airport four hours before their flights. Peak times during this period are 5-8 a.m., 2-5 p.m. and 11 p.m. to 3 a.m.
The airport’s condition has improved on last year, when massive queues were a daily nuisance throughout the summer.
Source : Daily Star
The official noted that 16 new General Security counters had been added in the departures area, while the number of security forces had been increased, as had the number of baggage scanners.