MATAFMediterranean Allied Tactical Air Force
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"The body works with its partners in the security, government and academic agencies to provide the best services for all facilities and to follow the flow of crowds in the mataf courtyard and on the upper floors, the roof and Al-Masaa of all its floors with the latest technology and equipment," he said.
Saudi Arabian officials are working hard to complete the ongoing expansion of mataf - the circumambulation area around the Kaaba in Makkah, before this year's Haj season, said a report.
In Makkah, which may be currently dampening performance, the expansion of the Grand Mosque will see it able to accommodate 2.2 million pilgrims at a time, with capacity at the Mataf doubled from 48,000 per hour to 105,000 per hour.
The phase includes operations on the eastern side of the 'mataf', which is the first floor area where pilgrims can circle the Kabba.
The capacity of the Mataf, a suspension bridge around the mosque, will also increase to handle from 48,000 to 130,000 pilgrims per hour.
Work on the suspended 'mataf' (area for going around Kaaba) is continuing vigorously after the area's top floor was completed last year to accommodate pilgrims with physical disabilities.
The king also ordered the opening of Phase I of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques project to upgrade the capacity of mataf (circumambulation of the Ka'aba area).
The project to expand the Mataf, the area surrounding the Ka'aba, in order to accommodate more worshippers, is also on and thousands of engineers, labourers are working day and night to achieve their goals as early as possible.
This means that the Mataf area cannot tolerate the large number of pilgrims during this year's Hajj.
The expansion of the Haram in Makkah will see the Mataf area expanded and its number of floors increased to six, according to Dr Muhammad Al-Khozaim, Deputy Head of the Presidency for the Two Holy Mosques.
Among the projects being carried in the Holy Haram and holy sites are the expansion of the Holy Haram, especially of the northern yards surrounding the Holy Mosque, Mass'a and Mataf, as well as projects involving King Abdul Aziz Ring Road, King Abdul Aziz Endowment, Al-Haramain Train, development of the central area, flood canals in the holy sites, Al-Jamrat and Ring Roads.
On January 12, 1944, Lieutenant General Ira Eaker, previously commander of Eighth Air Force, assumed command of MAAF, which consisted of Mediterranean Allied Strategic Air Force (MASAF), Mediterranean Allied Tactical Air Force (MATAF), and Mediterranean Allied Coastal Air Force.