Bahrain International Airport

Airfield Profile

Ownership

Operator: Civil Aviation Affairs, PO Box 536, Manama

Operator’s Identity Codes:

Code Operator
Station #13 USAAF

Location

Country Region Sub-Region
Bahrain Muharraq Governorate Muharraq

Address: Not known.

Nearest Town/City: Manama – airport is 4 miles (7 km) northeast.

  Latitude Longitude
Deg. Min. Sec. N 26° 16′ 15.0″ E 050° 38′ 01.0″
Decimal N 26.270834° E 50.633610°

Elevation: 2 m/6 ft

[geo_mashup_map map_content=”global” center_lat=26.270834 center_lng=50.633610 zoom=13 name=”airfields”]

History

Name Changes

Bahrain Airport 1932 – 1994
Bahrain International Airport 1994 – Present

Narrative Summary

This page covers the public/civilian side of the airfield – the military base known as Muharraq Airfield is described separately.

Bahrain International Airport is located on Muharraq Island, to the north of the capital Manama. The Airport has been a stopping-off point for air travellers since the 1920s, and became a key staging point in the Imperial Air Route between Britain and India. The first recorded Imperial Airways flight occurred in August 1927. By 1936 the service through Bahrain was twice weekly, but in 1937 the route was taken over by flying boats landing at Mina Sulman. In 1950 BOAC resumed commercial landplane services. In 1954 a new Flight Information Region based on Bahrain was established. Soon after this, the first jet aircraft began making stops. The airport has been expanded and updated repeatedly to keep pace wih the massive boom in air traffic since the 1960s, and it is now one of the busiest airports in the Middle East, capable of handling 10 million passengers a year. It was used as the initial base for the fixed wing aircraft operated by the Bahrain Amiri Air Force until Shaikh Isa AB opened.

Key Dates

August 1927    First recorded commercial flight
1942    Control handed to USAAF
1945    RAF takes over control
1950    Civil passenger services resume
1961    New passenger terminal opened
1976    Concorde flights from London begin
1994    New terminal building opened

Runways

Direction Length Width Surface
Metres (m) Feet (ft) Metres (m) Feet (ft)
12L/30R 3956 12979 60 197 Paved
12R/30L 2530 8302 45 148 Paved

Residents

The following organisations are, or were, permanently based at this location:

Based Military Units

Unit Operator Arrived Departed Activity
Air Wing BDF 1976 1987 Various
Helicopter Wing BAAF 1987 1994 Various

Based Civilian Operators

Operator Arrived Departed Activity
Gulf Air 1950 Current Scheduled pax services
Bahrain Air 2007 Current Scheduled pax services
Bahrain Amiri Royal Flight 1981 2010 VIP Transport

Photo Gallery

To be added.

More Information

Books

‘The Story of Aviation in the Kingdom of Bahrain’ [Order this book from Amazon UK]

Magazines

Feature articles to be added.

Websites

Bahrain Airport

GlobalSecurity.org

wikipedia: Bahrain International Airport

Pilot Information

Disclaimer: Information is provided on this page for historical purposes only, and not for aerial navigation.

Sakhir Air Base

Airfield Profile

Ownership

Operator: Royal Bahraini Air Force, Air Operations Centre, PO Box 245, Bahrain.

Operator’s Identity Codes:

Code Operator
n/a RBAF

Location

Country Region Sub-Region
Bahrain Southern Governorate Sadad

Address: Not known.

Nearest Town/City: Sadad – airfield is 3 miles (4.8 km) southeast.

  Latitude Longitude
Deg. Min. Sec. N 26° 02′ 05.00″ E 050° 31′ 29.00″
Decimal N 26.03472° E 50.52472°

Elevation: 23 m/76 ft

[geo_mashup_map map_content=”global” center_lat=26.03472 center_lng=50.52472 zoom=13 name=”airfields”]

History

Name Changes

Sakhir Air Base 2010 – Present

Narrative Summary

Smaller than the Shaikh Isa Air Base in the south, Sakhir is another newly constructed airfield with the latest facilities. Construction began circa 2006, following the successful inaugural race at the nearby Bahrain International Circuit, home of the first Formula 1 race in the Middle East. The airfield is located just to the east of the racing circuit and has potential to be a major business jet airport in the region. For now, the main user is the Amiri Royal flight, which moved from Bahrain International in early 2010.

Key Dates

2006    Work starts on constructing Sakhir AB
Jan 2010    Formally opening of the base
21 Jan 2010    First Bahrain International Airshow
2010    Royal Flight arrives

Runways

Direction Length Width Surface
Metres (m) Feet (ft) Metres (m) Feet (ft)
17/35 3800 12467 45 148 Paved

Residents

The following organisations are, or were, permanently based at this location:

Based Military Units

Not applicable.

Based Civilian Operators

Operator Arrived Departed Activity
Bahrain Amiri Royal Flight 2010 Current VIP Transport

Photo Gallery

To be added.

More Information

Books

‘The Story of Aviation in the Kingdom of Bahrain’ [Order this book from Amazon UK]

Magazines

Feature articles to be added.

Websites

None known.

Disclaimer: Information is provided on this page for historical purposes only, and not for aerial navigation.

Riffa Air Base

Airfield Profile

Ownership

Operator: Royal Bahraini Air Force, Air Operations Centre, PO Box 245, Bahrain.

Operator’s Identity Codes:

Code Operator
n/a RBAF

Location

Country Region Sub-Region
Bahrain Southern Governorate Riffa

Address: Riffa Air Base, Al Muaskar Highway, East Riffa, Bahrain.

Nearest Town/City: Isa Town – airfield is 2.5 miles (4 km) due south.

  Latitude Longitude
Deg. Min. Sec. N 26° 06′ 33″ E 050° 34′ 44″
Decimal N 26.109167° E 50.578889°

Elevation: 35 m/115 ft

[geo_mashup_map map_content=”global” center_lat=26.109167 center_lng=50.578889 zoom=13 name=”airfields”]

History

Name Changes

Riffa Air Base 1994 – Present

Narrative Summary

Riffa (also reported as Rifa’a) Air Base is the home base of the Air Force and Navy’s helicopter units. It is located directly to the south of Isa Town, one of the main cities on Bahrain island. It was originally built in 19??.

Key Dates

199?    Airfield construction begins
1994    Airfield officially opened

Runways

Direction Length Width Surface
Metres (m) Feet (ft) Metres (m) Feet (ft)
13/31 ? ? ? ? Paved

Helipads for more than 20 helicopters are also available.

Residents

The following organisations are, or were, permanently based at this location:

Based Military Units

Unit Operator Arrived Departed Activity
Helicopter Wing RBAF 1994 Current Various
5 Sqn RBN 1994 Current Various

Based Civilian Operators

Not applicable.

Photo Gallery

To be added.

More Information

Books

‘The Story of Aviation in the Kingdom of Bahrain’ [Order this book from Amazon UK]

Magazines

Feature articles to be added.

Websites

None known.

Disclaimer: Information is provided on this page for historical purposes only, and not for aerial navigation.

Muharraq Airfield

Airfield Profile

Ownership

Operator: United States Navy

Operator’s Identity Codes:

Code Operator
? USN

Location

Country Region Sub-Region
Bahrain Muharraq Governorate Muharraq

Address: Not known.

Nearest Town/City: Manama – airport is 4 miles (7 km) northeast.

  Latitude Longitude
Deg. Min. Sec. N 26° 16′ 15.0″ E 050° 38′ 01.0″
Decimal N 26.270834° E 50.633610°

Elevation: 2 m/6 ft

[geo_mashup_map map_content=”global” center_lat=26.270834 center_lng=50.633610 zoom=13 name=”airfields”]

History

Name Changes

Bahrain Airport 1932 – 1943
RAF Bahrain 1943 – 1963
RAF Muharraq 1963 – 1971
Muharraq Airfield 1971 – Present

Narrative Summary

This page covers the military side of the airfield – the public/civilian area known as Bahrain International Airport is described separately.

Muharraq is the name of the military airfield which is co-located with Bahrain International Airport. The military base is a separate fenced-off compound on the northern side of the main runway, while the airport occupies the southern side. Between 29 September 1958 and 31 October 1971, it was home base to a number of Royal Air Force squadrons, including No.8, 30, 84, 105, 152 and 208 Squadrons. After the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in August 1990, the base was host to deployments of Royal Air Force Tornado, Jaguar, VC10, Tristar, Buccaneer, Victor and Hercules aircraft. Combat operations operations against Iraq were conducted between January and March 1991, after which most of the aircraft returned home. A number of Tornados and Hercules remained for a few more months before heading home. RAF deployments to Muharraq continue is support of ‘Southern Watch’ missions over Iraq. The base is located on Al Muharraq Island, to the north east of Bahrain Island.

Key Dates

1932    Airfield opened for civilian air traffic
2 April 1943    RAF Bahrain opened
1 Dec 1963    Airfield renamed RAF Muharraq
15 Dec 1971    RAF station closed
Aug 1990    RAF deployment to support liberation of Kuwait
?    US Navy assumes control

Runways

Direction Length Width Surface
Metres (m) Feet (ft) Metres (m) Feet (ft)
12L/30R 3956 12979 60 197 Paved
12R/30L 2530 8302 45 148 Paved

Residents

The following organisations are, or were, permanently based at this location:

Based Military Units

Unit Operator Arrived Departed Activity
212 Sqn RAF Dec 1942 May 1945 Maritime Patrol
208 Sqn RAF Dec 1961 Jun 1964 Maritime Patrol
17 Sqn RAF Nov 1990 May 1991 Ground Attack

Based Civilian Operators

Not applicable.

Photo Gallery

To be added.

More Information

Books

‘The Story of Aviation in the Kingdom of Bahrain’ [Order this book from Amazon UK]

‘Action Stations Overseas’ [Order this book from Amazon UK]

Magazines

Feature articles to be added.

Websites

RAF Bahrain

RAF Muharraq

GlobalSecurity.org

RADFAN Hunters

Stations M

Disclaimer: Information is provided on this page for historical purposes only, and not for aerial navigation.

Bahrein Marine Airport

Airfield Profile

Ownership

Operator: Imperial Airways/BOAC, United Kingdom.

Operator’s Identity Codes:

Code Operator
n/a Imperial Airways

Location

Country Region Sub-Region
Bahrain Capital Governorate Manama

Address: Al Manamah, Bahrain.

Nearest Town/City: Manama – water runway is 1 mile (1.6 km) east.

  Latitude Longitude
Deg. Min. Sec. N 26° 14′ 15.7″ E 050° 36′ 37.1″
Decimal N 26.2377° E 50.6103°

Elevation: 0 m/0 ft

[geo_mashup_map map_content=”global” center_lat=26.2377 center_lng=50.6103 zoom=13 name=”airfields”]

History

Name Changes

Bahrein Marine Airport 1937 – 195?

Narrative Summary

From 1937 onwards Imperial Airways operated flying boats on its passenger routes to Southern Africa, the Middle East and India. Many of these aircraft used Bahrain as a convenient stopping off point on their long journey. The flying boats landed in the stretch of water off the main docks and passengers were then transported by boat to the shore for an overnight stay in one of Bahrain’s hotels. The next morning passengers were checked in at the Bahrain Marine Airport terminal building before being ferried out to the aircraft to resume their journey.

Passenger flights were suspended during World War Two, but in the postwar period BOAC – the successor to Imperial Airways – restarted flying boat operations. These continued using Bahrain until the 1950s, when landplanes made the continuation of water-based operations uneconomic.

Key Dates

1937    First flying boat operations
195?    Last flying boat departure

Runways

The runway was a stretch of water between where today the Marina Club is located and Mina Sulman.

Residents

The following organisations are, or were, permanently based at this location:

Based Military Units

Not applicable.

Based Civilian Operators

Not applicable – Imperial Airways/BOAC aircraft were not permanently based here.

Photo Gallery

To be added.

More Information

Books

‘The Story of Aviation in the Kingdom of Bahrain’ [Order this book from Amazon UK]

Magazines

Feature articles to be added.

Websites

Bahrain Airport

Manama Fort Heliport

Airfield Profile

Ownership

Operator: Ministry of the Interior.

Operator’s Identity Codes:

Code Operator
n/a BPS

Location

Country Region Sub-Region
Bahrain Capital Governorate Manama

Address: Manama Fort, Al Manamah, Bahrain.

Nearest Town/City: Manama – heliport is in the city centre.

  Latitude Longitude
Deg. Min. Sec. N 26° 13′ 0″ E 050° 34′ 60″
Decimal N 26.2167° E 50.5833°

Elevation: 1 m/3 ft

[geo_mashup_map map_content=”global” center_lat=26.2167 center_lng=50.5833 zoom=13 name=”airfields”]

History

Name Changes

Manama Fort 1965 – Present

Narrative Summary

Manama Fort is the home base of Bahrain Public Security’s helicopters. It is located within the capital city of Manama. The helicopter base is not within the fort itself, but across the road on a former parade ground. Date of construction not known.

Key Dates

1965    First helicopters begin operation
19??    Hangars constructed

Runways

Not applicable. Helipads for four helicopters are available.

Residents

The following organisations are, or were, permanently based at this location:

Based Government Units

Operator Arrived Departed Activity
BPS Flying Wing 1965 Current Policing

Based Civilian Operators

Not applicable.

Photo Gallery

To be added.

More Information

Books

‘The Story of Aviation in the Kingdom of Bahrain’ [Order this book from Amazon UK]

Magazines

Feature articles to be added.

Websites

None known.

Disclaimer: Information is provided on this page for historical purposes only, and not for aerial navigation.

Shaikh Isa Air Base

Airfield Profile

Ownership

Operator: Royal Bahraini Air Force, Air Operations Centre, PO Box 245, Bahrain.

Operator’s Identity Codes:

Code Operator
n/a RBAF

Location

Country Region Sub-Region
Bahrain Southern Governorate

Address: Not known.

Nearest Town/City: Manama – airfield is 11 miles (18 km) south.

  Latitude Longitude
Deg. Min. Sec. N 25° 55′ 06.10″ E 050° 35′ 26.01″
Decimal N 25.9184° E 50.5906°

Elevation: 41 m/136 ft

[geo_mashup_map map_content=”global” center_lat=25.9184 center_lng=50.5906 zoom=13 name=”airfields”]

History

Name Changes

Shaikh Isa Air Base 1987 – Present

Narrative Summary

The massive Shaikh Isa Air Base is located in the south east of Bahrain Island, 18 nm south of Manama. It was built with American assistance from 1987. It is the base for the 1st Fighter Wing of the BAAF. After the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, and during the Gulf War, the base was host to A-6E and F/A-18 units of the US Marine Corps between August 1990 and March 1991. USMC, US Navy and USAF units have continued to deploy to the base at regular intervals up until the present day.

Note: Several references give the location of this base as being on Sitrah (or Sintrah) Island. Sitrah is a small island to the west of Bahrain Island and does NOT host any military air bases.

Key Dates

1987    Work starts on constructing Shaikh Isa AB
198?    Formally opening of the base
1990    US military units arrive

Runways

Direction Length Width Surface
Metres (m) Feet (ft) Metres (m) Feet (ft)
15/33 3800 12467 45 148 Paved

Residents

The following organisations are, or were, permanently based at this location:

Based Military Units

Unit Operator Arrived Departed Activity
1st Fighter Wing RBAF 1989 Current Various
VMA(AW)-224 USMC 28 Aug 1990 Mar 1991 Fighter-Bomber
VMFA-235 USMC 22 Aug 1990 Mar 1991 Fighter-Bomber
69th FS USAF ? ? Fighter

Based Civilian Operators

Not applicable.

Photo Gallery

To be added.

More Information

Books

‘The Story of Aviation in the Kingdom of Bahrain’ [Order this book from Amazon UK]

Magazines

Feature articles to be added.

Websites

GlobalSecurity.org

wikipedia: Sheik Isa Air Base

Pilot Information

Disclaimer: Information is provided on this page for historical purposes only, and not for aerial navigation.

1st Fighter Wing

of the Royal Bahraini Air Force

History

1st Fighter Wing was formed in 1985 to control the RBAF fighter units. Initially based at Bahrain International Airport (Manama), the unit later moved to Shaikh Isa Air Base.

Subordinate Units

Unit Duration
1st Fighter Squadron 1990 – Present
2nd Fighter Squadron 2000 – Present
6th Fighter Squadron 1985 – Present

Unit Markings

Figure 1
To be added

Headquarters

Base Duration
Bahrain Intl. Airport (Manama) 1985 – 1990
Shaikh Isa AB 1990 – Present

More Information

References

  • To be added

Other Sources

To be added.

Gulfstream IV

in Bahrain Royal Flight Service

History

One Gulfstream IV obtained new in 2000. Used by the Government for VIP transport.

Individual Details

Serial c/no. Prev. Identity Delivered Fate/Notes
A9C-BAH 1353 N353GA Feb 2000 noted May 2007

Pictures


Gulfstream IV A9C-BAH (photo, Timothy Feise)

More Information

References

  • World Air Forces Directory 2000 (Mach III)
  • World Air Forces Directory 2006/07 (Mach III)

Other Sources

To be added.