Khalid was named Crown Prince in 1965, after his older brother (and only full brother) Muhammad bin Abdul Aziz declined a place in the succession. He decided to bring in foreign labour to help with the country's development. A relatively easygoing but pious man, like many members of the House of Saud, he died of a heart attack. He had purchased a Boeing 747 with an operating room should he be stricken while on his travels. He was succeeded by his brother Crown Prince Fahd.
Notable achievements included the institution of the second "Five-Year Plan" in Saudi history, which aimed to build up Saudi infastructure and healthcare. He also called numerous summits and inaugurated the Gulf Co-operation Council in 1981.
King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh was named after him.