Bahrain International Airshow 2024: Elevating Aerospace and Defence Industry to New Heights in the Region
Bahrain International Airshow (BIAS) has set its sights high for industry-wide growth and development ahead of its 2024 edition, following a successful year for the Bahrain military and civil aerospace sectors.
As a strategic hub for the aviation industry, Bahrain has consistently played a pivotal role in fostering regional growth and innovation, positioning itself at the heart of the international aerospace sector. Since the 2022 airshow, the country continues to prosper, with multiple new partnerships signed, millions in investments announced and achieving a GDP growth of 4.9%, the highest rate since 2013.
Earlier this year, the Royal Bahrain Air Force (RBAF) as part of the Bahrain Defence Force’s (BDF) expanded its fleet of aircraft, with the delivery of the first “F-16 Block 70” fighter jet from Lockheed Martin, making the kingdom the first country in the world to receive the highly-equipped and advanced combat aircraft. The RBAF also acquired three Bell 505 helicopters by Bell Textron to join the air force’s existing group of Bell 212 and multiple generations of AH-1 attack helicopters.
A growing commercial and tourism hub, air passenger traffic in Bahrain continues to grow, with Bahrain International Airport welcoming 6.9 million passengers in 2022, a 127.5% jump from 2021. As part of its plan to propel the region forward even further, Gulf Air, the national air carrier of Bahrain, has introduced new offerings and services, including the launch of Gulf Air Holidays, in partnership with Bahrain Tourism and Exhibition Authority (BTEA) and a codeshare partnership with Emirates that provides easy connections and expanded choices for Gulf Air customers, enabling them to connect to Dubai and onwards to a host of Emirates destinations across Europe, Africa, South America, and the Far East.
As well as servicing the business and tourism travel markets, Bahrain is quickly establishing itself as a leading cargo centre within the region. A new 25,000 sqm ‘Cargo Express Village’ has been developed at BIA to facilitate the efficient handling of cargo, featuring a bonded logistical facility and an admin building concept, which is being developed in three phases.
Organised by the Bahrain Ministry of Transportation and Telecommunications and the RBAF in association with Farnborough International, BIAS has been designed to reflect aerospace and defence industry demands, in addition to Bahrain’s exponential development, and will harness global expertise to provide crucial thought leadership and insight.
Following the resounding success of the 2022 airshow, which saw over 30 countries present, 186 participating companies across the display, exhibition hall and chalets, and 200 civilian and military delegations taking part, the 2024 show aims to engage, retain, and grow its world-class delegation programme, providing visitors with an opportunity to network with high level VIP decision-makers. BIAS continues to attract the industry’s leading players, including Airbus, CFM, Leonardo, Lockheed Martin, Rolls-Royce.
Held under the patronage of His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, King of the Kingdom of Bahrain, and under the supervision of His Highness Shaikh Abdullah bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Personal Representative of His Majesty the King and the Chairman of BIAS’ Supreme Organising Committee, BIAS will return to the aerospace calendar 13-15 November 2024 at Sakhir Airbase Bahrain.