Bahrain airport passenger traffic up

An artist’s impression of the proposed expansion at the Bahrain International Airport

Bahrain International Airport is getting busier with more airlines flying in and the existing ones increasing the number of flights.

About 40 airlines, including charter flights and cargo carriers, are operating through Bahrain now.
The airport handled a total of 5.341 million passengers in the first nine months of this year, a five per cent increase over the same period last year. It handled 278,871 tonnes of cargo during the period, an eight per cent increase.
Civil Aviation Affairs assistant under-secretary Ahmed Nemat Ali was quoted earlier as saying the number of passengers handled by the airport would reach about eight million by the end of the year.
Meanwhile, work on the Bahrain International Airport’s massive expansion project is scheduled to start next year.
The expansion, which is scheduled to be completed in 2010, will allow the airport to handle up to 15 million passengers a year. It will make the airport one of the most futuristic facilities of its kind in the region.
The project will more than double the size of the terminal building, increase the number of aircraft stands from 46 to 64 and double the number of bridges from seven to 14.
The expansion also will make the airport one of the most user-friendly in the region.
The airport will be equipped to handle 64 aircraft at any given time. The baggage handling capacity will increase from 3,000 bags per hour to 15,000 bags. The check-in counters will increase from 40 to 80.
The seven additional gates will comprise stands to accommodate five Code E type aircraft (Airbus A330 or A340 and Boeing 747 or 777), one Code C type aircraft (A320 and Boeing 737) as well as one Code F, new large aircraft (NLA).
Besides the new Code F stand, an existing parking bay will also be refurbished to accommodate the Code F aircraft providing a total of two stands at the expanded terminal to cater to the new A380 super-sized aircraft. The construction approach will be designed to permit the existing terminal operations to continue until the expansions are completed.