Bahrein Marine Airport

Airfield Profile


Operator: Imperial Airways/BOAC, United Kingdom.

Operator’s Identity Codes:

Code Operator
n/a Imperial Airways


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”]


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


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


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


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


Feature articles to be added.


Bahrain Airport

The New Suvarnabhumi Airport

With one of the tallest Air Traffic Control (ATC) towers in the world and an impressive array of next generation, automated ATC Systems, augmented by the latest development in air safety equipment, the Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok, Thailand is well positioned to be the next “big thing” in airport design and architecture. Its massive capacity will served well when handling an expected boom in air travel during the next twenty years. Although the airport development had ran into trouble the past three to four years, its overall construction cost of nearly $ 3.9 billion was hotly contested by various political institutions at the time, and some factions still resent the price tag for the facility; and the airports’ runways had shown a propensity for “cracking” on a semi-regular bases, the airport still retains the potential to become the massive air hub its designers envisioned. Filled with green recreational areas and room to grow structurally, the Suvarnabhumi airport seem destined to achieve that goal.

As with most of China’s and Australian’s major airports, the French company Thales was selected to be the port’s chief soft-hardware structural integrated designer. The Company’s renowned TECOS fight data accessing and processing system is directly linked to the Suvarnabhumi ATC tower’s Advance Surface Movement Guidance and Control System or STREAMS giving the airport a coordinated stream line data display at all times. These two systems are integrated to the tower’s EUROCAT system located in the approach control room. This integration marks the first time the French company has been able to fully automated these three separated systems. With this level of integration, the airport’s AT Controllers are able to coordinate all incoming-outgoing traffic handoff to the facility tower without utilizing either the telephone set or radio transmissions.

As the aircraft commenced to depart its assigned gate area, information is instantly transmitted to several controller positions, all at the same time. On the ATC’s STREAMS monitors, which displays all the airport’s surface information, from runway activity, taxing maneuvers to gate departures and entries; controllers can easy see the aircraft’s surface profile without moving an inch. This does not mean that controllers can not talk to each other via telephone or radio. The TECOS system is able to eliminate the dreaded use of set paper strips mounted on display consoles because all ATCs can devise the data on a single or multiple display array. The Integration of all three systems is major step forward for Thales which, with 260 EUROCAT systems sold worldwide, was looking for an integration test-bed, data gathering type of facility, the Suvarnabhumi airport was just that. Beside these three main operational systems, Suvarnabhumi boost an advance Thales-supplied STAR 2000 S-Band Radar with a 60 to 90 nautical mile range, augmented by a RSM 970S monopulse secondary radar array with a 250 nautical mile operational range. Also installed at Suvarnabhumi is a TERMA Radar System Company’s surface detection array, known as multilateration use to monitor aircraft’s taxi operations.

Multilateration is an integrated system that relies on a transponder signature of interrogation for the aircraft’s positional tracking. The data collected from the transponders are received from the airport’s regular antenna configuration. The system works by measuring separates arrival times differences which, after processing, will give the aircraft’s precise position (five meter margin of error) on any of the airport’s ground facilities. Constants updates (about two per 1.2 seconds) maintains the information current. The advent of multilateration has made possible for airports to increase their overall safety level adjusting more smoothly to the ever increasing rate of air traveling. Multilateration is just the first giant step in the evolution of air traffic controlling. Next in line is the more robust and sensitive ATC system ever devised, the Automatic Dependent Surveillance Broadcast System which still in its developing phase.

The airport posses two sixty meter wide paved runways, one 4000 meter long and the other 3700 with parallel taxiways (2000 meters of separation between them) entrance to accommodate simultaneous takeoff and landing aircraft. As of today, Bangkok’s airport is able to proses up to 75 flight operations an hour. Plans are in the works to add two additional main runways with its supplemented taxiways alignment which will boots the amount of flight processed by the ATC to above one hundred per hour. Today, the airport is capable of handling up to forty five million passengers annually. Most of them on a massive 563000 sq. meter terminal fitted with fifty one gates. This figure is expected to increase with the new renovations planned for 2012 which will make the facility capable of accommodate above one hundred passengers a year. Overall square area for the Suvarnabhumi airport is 32.4 miles. As for the structural decoration, The airport entrance and command facilities are liter with examples of Thai culture (paintings and sculptures).

Despite of all of these advance systems, the airport’s main attraction is still its imposing ATC tower. The main control room sits at a 132.2 meters elevation, just 0.3 meters short of the world record holder, the Kuala Lampur International Airport tower. If considered all of the world’s traffic control towers, both are surpassed only by the massive NAV Canada ACT Sea Plane tower in Vancouver which sits at 141 meters above the ground. The Suvarnabhumi’s tower had an impressive 360 degree panoramic view. The view angle and the tower’s altitude, gives the controller a maximum overview of the airport’s ground facilities. All of these systems and facilities will most likely made the Suvarnabhumi airport the main air hub to the south of Asia by the late 2010s.

– Raul Colon


More information:
wikipedia: Suvarnabhumi Airport Link
Suvarnabhumi Airport, Thailand

A Brief Look at the United States Airport Runway-Taxing Approach Information Guidelines for 2007

The United State Department of Transportation, via the Federal Aviation Administration, has set-up a series of guidelines for the regulation of the approach by aircraft to a complex airport environment. The FAA describes a complex airport environment as an airport facility of medium to high traffic volume; such as is the case with regional hubs or international airports. The FAA stressed on its 2007 Instrument Procedures Handbook the importance of pilots performing a detailed examination of the landing airport and it’s runway environment prior to the aircraft’s approach procedure. A detailed review of the runway distance, the turn-off taxiway, and the route of taxi to the selected parking area, are all important safety topics that need extensive briefing prior to landing. In addition to the current condition of the assigned runway, conditions such as the wetness of the pavement, the crossing wind patterns, and the possible contamination of the runway are all additional factors that the FAA recommends the pilot investigate prior to his or her approach.

The National Aeronautical Charting Office (NACO) has supplied pilots with detailed airport charts from 2000 to the present that include a runway sketch on each approach chart, to provide the pilot with vital airport information. In addition, the FAA has mandated that a full-page airport diagram be published on yearly basis. The diagram needs to include the latitude and longitude information required for the initial programming of the Flight Management Computer (FMC) on-board the aircraft. The included latitude/longitude grid will show the pilot the specific location of each parking area on the airport area for use in initializing the FMS system.

(photo, via author)
(photo, via author)

Pilots making approaches at complex airports, need to familiarize thewmselves with the complete airport environment – specifically its runway-taxiway configuration, prior to commencing an instrument approach. The possible combination of high taxi volume, poor weather patterns and the ground controller workload could make the pilot’s performance on the taxi-runway environment every bit as critical as his or her performance once airborne. These rules are designed for the safety of the pilot and the nearby ground personnel. The FAA guidelines clearly take this situation very seriously and so should the pilot.

– Raul Colon


More information:
National Aeronautical Charting Office