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Bahrain’s New Terminal Positions Airport to Serve Larger Role in Middle East

Ruthy Munoz

February 3rd, 2021

Bahrain’s new $1.1 billion airport terminal will have capacity to handle 14 million passengers per year, offering the Middle East a vastly improved alternative when flyers return to the sky.

Almost 10 million passengers traveled through the terminal it replaces, a facility originally built to handle only 4 million annual passengers.

Although the number of passengers has fallen due to border closures and less flying during the pandemic, Mohammed Al Binfalah, Bahrain Airport Company (BAC) CEO, expects those numbers to increase as people’s confidence in flying returns. 

The new 210,000 square-meter terminal has the capacity to serve 130,000 flights a year. The airport modernization project being built in two phases, starting in 2016, and was completed within budget.

“Making it on time and within budget is one of the two things that the project team is very, very proud of, ” said Al Binfalah.

The terminal was built by Arabtec TAV, a joint venture between the UAE’s Arabtec and Turkey’s TAV Construction. It opened last Thursday with 12 dual jetways for narrowbody aircraft, and 50% of the second phase completed. The remaining construction is underway for 10 new remote hard stands to receive additional flights.

The terminal is accredited through to the Airports Council International (ACI) World Airport Health Accreditation program for taking measures to ensure the health and safety of staff and passengers during the coronavirus pandemic.

These measures include hand sanitizer dispensers through the terminal, having available masks and gloves to dispense, frequent sterilizations and enforcing social distancing, Al Binfalah said.

“I think it’s a testament to everyone involved in the project to pull it together in a time when we had to do a lot of precautionary measures at the construction site,” Al Binfalah said.

The airport has an eye to the future and sees scope to expand, despite being a single-runway airport, Al Binfalah said. “Gatwick is a single runway airport; nevertheless, in Gatwick they do have more than 30 million passengers per year,” he said. “So we have quite ample capacity in terms of receiving flights.”

Ruthy Munoz

February 3rd, 2021

Tags: airports, Bahrain, coronavirus, coronavirus recovery, terminals

Photo credit: Bahrain new airport terminal opened Jan. 28, 2021. Bahrain Airport Company / Bahrain News Agency (BNA)

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