Bahrain gets ready for air show
Manama, October 10, 2009
More than 200 tonnes of steel has arrived in Bahrain as construction work for the inaugural Bahrain International Airshow (BIAS) kicks into gear.
It was flown in from the UK in two jumbo freighters belonging to Cathay Pacific Airways and Singapore Airlines ahead of the three-day event, to be held in January.
The delivery, to Bahrain International Airport (BIA), was a major operation that required deployment of the entire Bahrain Airport Services (BAS) cargo team, the show's official ground handling company.
It has since been transferred to the Sakhir Airbase where it is being used in the construction of buildings, including a media centre, restaurant, and reception and hospitality business chalets.
The 160 sq m air-conditioned chalets will house the participating companies and be fully-fitted to host 40 executive clients per day.
Fifty chalets are due to be built at the site, 40 of which will be sold and used for the inaugural event, while the others will be kept for future growth.
The cargo was brought under the supervision of BIAS organisers and building contractors ArenaLea.
ArenaLea, a division of the Irish-owned event services company Arena Group won the construction contract for the first three editions of the BIAS (to be held in 2010, 2012 and 2014) in June.
The company, which also has operating sites in the UK, Dubai and Belgium, fought off stiff competition to earn the BD11 million ($29.2 million) contract.
It has announced that the majority of the 15,000 sq m facilities for the Sakhir site will be manufactured in the UK and shipped to Bahrain later this month.
The initial cargo of steel has been delivered to enable the complex building programme to have an early start.
Construction got under way at the end of last month and officials hope some of the interior decorating will begin by this month.
The air show, which will begin under the patronage of His Majesty King Hamad on January 21, is being organised by Bahrain Civil Aviation Affairs and Farnborough International.
Some of the biggest names in aviation have confirmed their participation, including Boeing, Rolls Royce, Gulfstream, Sikorsky Aircraft Company, Bell Textron, Gulf Air, Gulf Aviation Technologies and Bahrain Air.
Organisers earlier said the Bahrain Air Force hopes to demonstrate its Hawk, F5 fighter jet and F-16 Fighting Falcon and Gulf Air was planning to hold a daily 'fly-past'.
They believe the inaugural show has the potential to inject $13 million (BD 4.9 million) into Bahrain's economy through the spending of participants and visitors as well as the use of local suppliers and workers. – TradeArabia News Service