The first day of the Bahrain International Airshow, which is held under the patronage of His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, King of the Kingdom of Bahrain, opened today with the senior figures from the commercial and military aerospace industry in attendance. Officially inaugurated by His Highness Shaikh Abdullah bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Personal Representative of His Majesty the King and the Chairman of BIAS Supreme Organising Committee, the fifth edition of the show witnessed attendance from 187 companies and saw a number of strategic announcements being made that would further Bahrain’s position as a major transportation hub in the Middle East.
His Excellency Engineer Kamal bin Ahmed Mohammed the Minister of Transportation and Telecommunications extended his congratulations to His Majesty the King of the Kingdom of Bahrain on the launch of the fifth edition of the Bahrain International Airshow, a firmly established global aerospace event and the fastest growing airshow in the Middle East.
His Excellency also praised the success of BIAS on the first day, which adds to the Kingdom’s achievements under the wise guidance of His Majesty the King. He also stressed on the ongoing success of BIAS due to growing regional and international participation, and the pivotal role it plays in contributing to the national economy.
On this occasion, His Excellency commented, “We are pleased to have 11 of the top 15 global aerospace businesses in participating in this edition of the show where a number of announcements and high level meetings with international civil and military delegations were conducted which we expect to see more of during the next two days”.
Most significantly of these was Bahrain Airport Company’s signings with three companies. The first signing was for the design and renovation of the Civil Aviation Affairs building with Gulf Engineering House which will transform it into a private aviation terminal to cater to VIPs and business leaders.
The new, state-of-the-art facility is expected to be completed by 2020 and will offer various services to meet the needs of private jet owners and users travelling through Bahrain International Airport (BIA). The second signing was the award of a catering contract for all four of its lounges to Bahrain Airport Services (BAS), and the third was for the operation of the new Passenger Terminal Building’s airport clinic which was awarded to Bahrain Specialist Hospital that will allow for healthcare professionals to be on hand 24/7 to provide various medical services to passengers and airport staff at the new facility.
Gulf Air and Etihad Airways also signed an MoU which covers a scope to introduce joint codeshare operations between Abu Dhabi and Manama. Additionally, Saudi Aramco announced its agreement at the value of $700 million US dollars for the provision of 26 helicopters.
Alongside this, the Ministry of Transportation and Telecommunications also signed Air Service Agreements with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, UAE, Brunei, and Brazil. HE the Minister of Transportation and Telecommunications also met with Under Secretary of State at the Department for Transport Nusrat Ghani where His Excellency praised the strong bilateral relations between the Kingfom of Bahrain and the United Kingdom.
The show also highlighted developments for the Bahrain space sector. As the responsible Minister for the National Space Science Agency (NSSA), HE the Minister of Transportation and Telecommunications signed an MOU with the UAE Space Agency and Khalifa University that would see the organisations working together on a two-year study programme to develop nano-satellites.