Following a number of live aircraft trials, Bahrain International Airport’s (BIA) new Passenger Terminal Building is on track to launch smoothly and efficiently in 2020.
A total of 10 of BIA’s airside stakeholders participated in the trials, which aimed to test the operational and technical aspects of the new Multiple Aircraft Ramp System (MARS), including safety and operational procedures.
The trials involved aircraft of all sizes, including passenger airlines and cargo companies such as Gulf Air, DHL, Cathay Pacific, Emirates Airline and flydubai.
Gulf Air’s B787 aircraft was taxied to the new MARS Stand 16 and conducted a full turnaround operation, which entailed baggage handling, passenger boarding and de-boarding procedures. The Visual Docking Guidance System was also tested, which assists pilots with precision parking, as was the Pre-conditioned Air System, which provides conditioned air to cool and ventilate the cabins of parked aircraft.
Minister of Transportation and Telecommunications and chairman, Bahrain Airport Company (BAC), HE Eng. Kamal bin Ahmed Mohammed commented on the trials: “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 added.
The trials at BIA’s new Passenger Terminal Building 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. They form part of the national ORAT programme, which aims to test the new terminal’s functions, systems and procedures, ensuring that they are ready for the transition phase.