MUHARRAQ, BAHRAIN - Preparations to launch Bahrain International Airport’s (BIA) new Passenger Terminal Building are progressing smoothly and efficiently, His Excellency the Minister of Transportation and Telecommunications and Bahrain Airport Company (BAC) Chairman, Eng. Kamal bin Ahmed Mohammed announced following a series of live aircraft trials to assess the readiness of aircraft parking stands. In total, 10 BIA airside stakeholders participated in the trials to test the operational and technical aspects of the new Multiple Aircraft Ramp System (MARS), including safety and operational procedures. The trials involved different sized aircraft from airlines and cargo companies operating out of BIA, including Gulf Air, DHL, Cathay Pacific, Emirates, and Fly Dubai.
One of the trials involved a Gulf Air B787 aircraft, which taxied to the new MARS Stand 16 and conducted a full turnaround operation, covering baggage handling and passenger boarding and de-boarding procedures. Also tested were Visual Docking Guidance System, which helps pilots to precisely park aircraft, and the Pre-conditioned Air System, which provides conditioned air to cool and ventilate the cabins of parked aircraft.
HE the Minister expressed his approval of the successful outcome of the trials, which showed the readiness of the stands to receive aircraft of different sizes ahead of the launch of the new terminal in the first quarter of 2020.
HE the Minister said: “BAC conducted preliminary trials at Stand 16 ahead of the reception of aircraft and passengers at the new terminal’s runway, which also underwent special preparations. The trials required careful coordination between several parties and included extensive testing of the new Passenger Terminal Building’s systems, facilities, operations, and staff readiness under realistic, live conditions. Thanks to the cooperation and continued support of its partners, BAC has made tremendous progress within a short period of time, however, even greater effort is required in the lead up to the new terminal’s inauguration in 2020.”
HE the Minister also thanked the task force, strategic partners, and airlines that participated in the exercise for their efforts in successfully reaching this advanced stage in the trials, a step closer to launching a leading airport that the Kingdom of Bahrain can be proud of.
The trials covered 400Hz ground power, which supplies the aircraft with electricity and reduces its carbon emissions; the Passenger Loading Bridges; the new LED Flood Light Towers, which illuminate the new aircraft stands; and the new aircraft fuel hydrants, which provide fuel from the new fuel farm at BIA.
The ongoing trials are part of the national ORAT programme, which is designed to progressively test the new terminal’s functions, systems, and procedures to ensure they are ready for the transition phase. The ORAT process is split into three phases, pre-trials, basic trials, and advanced trials.