Bahrain International Airport today (January 28) announced the official launch of operations at its new 207,000-sq-m passenger terminal, thus marking the dawn of a new era for the kingdom’s aviation sector.
Four times the size of the current building, it is supported by a central utility complex, a multi-storeyed car park with 5,500 spaces, a private aviation tower, a private building for rescue and firefighting services, and an aviation fuel field.
The new terminal has a greatly expanded duty-free shopping area, two reception and hospitality lounges for first class and business class travellers, a private aviation building providing services for private jet owners and passengers, in addition to a central security gate.
The new terminal, implemented under the $1.1-billion Airport Modernisation Programme, is in line with the directive of His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the Crown Prince and Prime Minister.
Equipped with the latest technologies in the market and supported by new infrastructure, it will increase the airport’s capacity to 14 million passengers per year, delivering a hassle-free airport experience and the highest standards of luxury.
The Ministry of Transportation and Telecommunications and Bahrain Airport Company (BAC) announced that all the airport’s facilities are ready, and preparations to welcome passengers are complete, reported BNA.
The transfer of operations represents a major shift for Bahrain’s aviation sector and comes after the completion of the Operations Readiness and Airport Transfer (ORAT) program, one of the kingdom’s most ambitious national projects, which paved the way for a smooth transition to the airport’s new Passenger Terminal.
Minister of Transportation and Telecommunications and BAC Chairman Engineer Kamal bin Ahmed Mohammed noted that the transfer marks a major step for the Ministry and BAC under the leadership of His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa.
The Minister praised the Crown Prince’s contributions to the project and thanked him for his guidance, highlighting his contributions towards the Kingdom’s many outstanding achievements in pursuit of its Economic Vision 2030, and bringing the Airport Modernization Program (AMP) closer to completion.
Launched in February 2016, the AMP is the largest investment in Bahrain’s aviation sector to date and one of the most important national projects in the kingdom’s history.
The Minister also expressed his satisfaction with the progress made during the first phase of the new terminal’s development, and the ‘Team Bahrain’ spirit that has characterized everyone involved in this project since its inception.
"I would like to thank our strategic partners, contractors, all companies working in Bahrain International Airport, and all parties involved for their strong support for this national project," he stated.
BAC Chief Executive Officer Mohamed Yousif Al Binfalah said this milestone is the culmination of years of careful planning and hard work.
"It marks the start of an exciting new chapter in the kingdom’s rich aviation history and positions BIA as the most modern boutique airport in the region," he stated.
"With a strong focus on innovation, efficiency, and culture, BAC’s goal is to ensure that BIA stands out as a best-in-class airport that reflects the kingdom’s distinct character and cements its reputation as a regional financial, cultural, and aviation center," he added.
The project was completed in four years in accordance with a national vision that keeps pace with the requirements of global travel and aviation, said the BNA report.
With a focus on safety, luxury, and environmental sustainability, the new airport adheres to international aviation guidelines. It will also help to attract well known brands that will enhance travellers’ shopping experiences, it added.