Bahrain’s new airport will be inaugurated early next year, according to a senior civil aviation official.
The facility was originally due to open last March, but the inauguration was delayed due to the global coronavirus pandemic.
“It is a very ambitious project and one of the most important infrastructures in the kingdom,” Mohammed Al Kabi, the undersecretary of Civil Aviation Affairs at the Transportation Ministry said.
“The first stage of the airport is ready. Operation will begin early next year. We are checking operational procedures at the airport related to air safety, transport and safety to ensure compliance with rules set by the International Civil Aviation Organisation,” he added, according to Al Watan newspaper.
Stretching on 220,000 square metres, the 1.1 billion-dollar facility has a travel capacity of up to 14 million passengers annually.
Like elsewhere in the world, Bahrain’s aviation sector has been hit hard by the COVID-19, with the number of passengers in Bahrain having declined by 75 per cent over the past 10 months compared to the same period in 2019, Al Kabi said.
The flights landing in and departing from Bahrain, meanwhile, dropped by 60 per cent compared to last year, he added. However, he cited a 3 per cent increase in the country’s air shipping against 2019.