Bahrain International Airport

Bahrain International Airport
Bahrain International Airport
مطار البحرين الدولي
Matar al-Bahrayn ad-Dowaly
BIA Logo.png
BAH is located in Bahrain
Location of airport in Bahrain
Airport type Public
Operator Bahrain Airport Company
Serves Bahrain
Location Al Muharraq
Hub for
Elevation AMSL 6 ft / 2 m
Coordinates 26°16′15″N 50°38′01″E / 26.27083°N 50.63361°E / 26.27083; 50.63361
Direction Length Surface
ft m
12L/30R 10,970 3,340 Asphalt
12R/30L 8,302 2,530 Asphalt
Statistics (2010)
Passengers 8,898,197
Cargo (tons) 329,938
Aircraft movements 106,356
Source: Statistics from Bahrain Airport[1]

Bahrain International Airport (IATA: BAHICAO: OBBI) (Arabic: مطار البحرين الدولي‎) is an international airport located in Muharraq, an island on the northern tip of Bahrain, about 7 km (4.3 mi) northeast of the capital Manama. It is the primary hub for Gulf Air and Bahrain Air.

A BD113m ($300 million) expansion and refurbishment program was launched in the third quarter of 2006 which will see the creation of a new multi-storey car park and retail complex adjacent to the main terminal building. The expansion also includes a full resurfacing of the main runway, a new perimeter fence, state-of-the-art security systems and additional aircraft parking bays. Runway 12R/30L is mostly used as a taxiway.

A significant portion of passengers served by the airport are Saudis and Western expats working in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia. Designated bus and limousine services move passengers from Dammam, Khobar and other Saudi cities to Bahrain Airport. Many passengers from the Eastern Province choose not to use the mainland King Fahd International Airport. This is largely because it is economical for some airlines to operate only from Bahrain, giving more flight options to passengers from Bahrain Airport and the convenience provided by the King Fahd Causeway.

The airport has a three star rating from Skytrax's airport grading exercise.[2] In 2010, Bahrain Airport was named as the winner of the Best Airport in the Middle East Award at the Skytrax 2010 World Airport Awards.[3]



The first scheduled commercial airliner to arrive in Bahrain, in 1932, was a flight from London to Delhi operated on a Handley Page H.P.42 aircraft named "Hannibal." The H.P.42 carried only 24 passengers, and the flight from London had taken several days of flying at speeds of 100 miles per hour. Through this regularly scheduled service, Bahrain became established as the Persian Gulf's first international airport.[4]

During World War II, the airport was used by the United States Army Air Force Air Transport Command Central African Wing, being designated as Station # 13. It functioned as a stopover en-route to Abadan Airport, Iran or Sharjah Airport, in present day UAE on the Karachi-Cairo route.[5] From 1943 until Bahrain's independence in December 1971, the Royal Air Force maintained a military installation at the airfield known initially as RAF Bahrain and from 1963 as RAF Muharraq.[6][7] The majority of these facilities were later acquired by the Bahraini flag carrier airline, Gulf Air, while a small portion continues to be utilized by the U.S. Navy as Aviation Support Unit (ASU) Bahrain.

Through the years

In 1936, the operation of H.P.42 aircraft from London to India via Bahrain had been stepped up to a twice-weekly frequency. In 1937, Bahrain saw the regular service of the Empire sea planes. The landing strip of these giants on the water was from where the marina club is located in Mina Salman today. From the 1950s, BOAC operated several services a week through Bahrain. These included weekly services to Karachi, Singapore, Hong Kong and three times a week to Sydney. 1950 was a significant year not only for Muharraq as an international airport, but also for Bahrain's own commercial aviation history. In this year, a new local airline, Gulf Aviation Company, was formed - the forerunner of Gulf Air. The company started with only one aircraft, a second-hand Anson Mark II, which was used initially on services to Dhahran. But within two years, the fleet had expanded to four de Havilland aircraft and DC-3s for use on a steadily growing network in the Persian Gulf. This established Bahrain as an international stage. It was easily the most modern and advanced airport in the Persian Gulf with a good runway, control tower, lighting, communication facilities and even restaurants. It began to attract other carriers such as Middle East Airlines, Air India, Air Ceylon and Iran Air - mostly operating Dakotas. In December 1961, a new passenger terminal opened at the airport. During 1970–1971, RAF Muharraq was scaled back and eventually closed. In December 1971, the airport opened new passenger facilities, which included a wide area that could accommodate four 747 aircraft. In 1976, the airport marked another significant first with the inauguration of supersonic flights, which saw the start up of regular BA Concorde service between London and Bahrain. In the 1980s and 1990s, major facelifts took place and all the major airline companies made the airport a destination. In 1994, a US$ 100 million terminal was inaugurated.


It was announced on October 8, 2009 that BHD 1.8 billion expansion of Bahrain International Airport is going to start in 2010. The expansion, planned over the next 30 years, will triple the passenger capacity to 27 million a year.

Two new terminals will be opened in the next four years as part of the expansion. Terminal Two will be commissioned by 2012 and Terminal 1A will become operational a year later. The expansion will include all modern facilities, including leisure areas, shopping centers, hotels and anything else that a modern traveler needs, will be incorporated in the new development. The expansion will also include a swimming pool. The present terminal building (Terminal 1) will be demolished in 2014 and replaced with a brand new state-of-the-art structure within a few years. Construction of Terminal 2 will begin early in 2010. There will be 110 aircraft stands including 87 with contact gates and 23 without. This also includes 17 new remote aircraft parking bays, installation of automatic baggage screening facilities, improved ground handling and overall new passenger handling standards.

The cargo handling capacity will also increase from the present 350,000 cubic meters to 1.5 million cubic meters. All ground handling facilities at the airport were being enhanced in collaboration with the company that manages Munich Airport in Germany. A new VIP terminal and an Airport Center that will includes shops, entertainment facilities and car parking will be developed as part of the project.[8][9][10]

There are plans to build light rail lines which would connect the airport to the rest of Bahrain.[11]

Airlines and destinations

Airlines Destinations
Air Arabia Sharjah
Air India Express Delhi, Doha, Kochi, Kozhikode, Mangalore, Mumbai, Thiruvananthapuram
Bahrain Air Alexandria-El Nouzha, Amman, Assiut, Baghdad, Beirut, Chittagong, Doha, Dubai, Istanbul-Sabiha Gökçen, Kathmandu, Khartoum, Kochi, Kozhikode, Kuwait, Luxor, Mashhad, Mumbai, Najaf
British Airways Doha, London-Heathrow
Cathay Pacific Hong Kong
EgyptAir Cairo
Emirates Dubai
Ethiopian Airlines Addis Ababa, Kuwait
Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi
Flydubai Dubai
Gulf Air Abu Dhabi, Addis Ababa, Aden, Amman, Athens, Baghdad, Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi, Basra, Beirut, Cairo, Chennai, Colombo, Copenhagen, Damascus, Dammam, Delhi, Dhaka, Doha, Dubai, Entebbe [resumes 5 December], Erbil, Frankfurt, Gassim [begins 17 January], Geneva, Isfahan, Islamabad, Istanbul-Atatürk, Jeddah, Juba [begins 7 February], Kabul, Karachi, Kathmandu, Khartoum, Kochi, Kuala Lumpur, Kuwait, Lahore, Larnaca, London-Heathrow, Manila, Mashhad [resumes 1 December], Medina, Milan-Malpensa, Mumbai, Muscat, Nairobi, Najaf, Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Peshawar, Riyadh, Rome-Fiumicino [resumes 30 November], Sana'a, Shiraz, Taif [begins 15 January], Tehran-Imam Khomeini, Yanbu [begins 15 February]
Gulf Air operated by PrivatAir Copenhagen, Geneva
Iran Aseman Airlines Dubai
Iraqi Airways Baghdad, Najaf
Jazeera Airways Dubai, Kuwait
Jet Airways Mumbai
Jordan Aviation Aqaba
KLM Amsterdam, Kuwait
Kuwait Airways Kuwait
Lufthansa Dammam, Frankfurt
Mahan Air Charter: Mashhad
Oman Air Doha, Muscat
Pakistan International Airlines Karachi, Lahore
Qatar Airways Doha
Royal Air Maroc Casablanca
Royal Jordanian Amman-Queen Alia
Saudi Arabian Airlines Jeddah, Medina, Riyadh
Sri Lankan Airlines Colombo, Doha
Syrian Air Damascus
Turkish Airlines Dammam, Istanbul-Atatürk
United Airlines Kuwait, Washington-Dulles
Yemenia Dubai, Sana'a

Cargo airlines

Airlines Destinations
Aerologic Brussels, Hong Kong, Leipzig/Halle
Air France Cargo Paris-Charles de Gaulle
British Airways World Cargo London-Stansted, Zaragoza
DHL Aviation
operated by DHL International Aviation ME
Dubai-International, Kandahar, Karachi, Lahore, Sialkot
Emirates SkyCargo Dubai-International, Zaragoza
Falcon Express Cargo Airlines Dubai-International
FedEx Express
Kalitta Air Amsterdam, Bagram, Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi, Brussels, Hong Kong, Liège, Newark, New York-JFK, Sharjah
Lufthansa Cargo Frankfurt
Martinair Cargo Amsterdam, Chennai, Dubai-Al Maktoum, Hong Kong
Polar Air Cargo Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky
Qatar Airways Cargo Doha
TNT Airways Liege

See also


External links

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