Although a year away, the sixth Bahrain International Airshow (BIAS), taking place in November 2020, has cemented itself as a major event in the Middle East aviation calendar alongside Dubai Airshow.
“Bahrain has become an event on the circuit where anybody who’s anybody is at this show,” said BAE Systems' Mark Simpkins, regional vice president for the Middle East. “The show provides an intimacy where we can connect and hold business and industrial partnering meetings. We find that is one of the key benefits this show provides.”
Gradually, the show is emerging from the shadow of the larger extravaganza organized by its Emirati neighbors, and the event has benefitted from the change in timing from January to November.
“There is an ongoing major capital investment plan that covers huge upgrades across the facilities at Sakhir Airbase,” a spokesperson for Farnborough International, co-organizer of the event along with the Bahrain Ministry of Transportation and Telecommunications, told AIN. “There is a newly planned layout across the site that will direct visitors through the exhibition hall, where 80 international organizations from across the aviation supply chain [will be present]."
The Farnborough International News Network (FINN) sessions will involve briefings and seminars on aviation and aerospace development in the region, while a comprehensive delegations program, with key decision makers from the civil and military sectors, will also be featured. The 2nd Women in Aviation Conference will highlight the role of female aviators in the Middle East, while the 3rd Manama Air Power Symposium will stage discussion from senior military officials from around the world.
“BIAS offers high-level networking opportunities in purpose-built chalets where exhibitors can display products and aircraft directly opposite their chalet location," the spokesperson said. "They also offer privacy, enabling business meetings to take place in an exclusive environment.”
Speaking at the 2018 event, Bahrain’s transport minister, Kamal Mohammed, said: “We have seen tremendous success and expansion at the Bahrain Airshow. It is becoming bigger and bigger. I can say that this is the fastest growing airshow in the Middle East.”
The Bahrain Airshow takes place at the Sakhir Airbase from November 18-20, 2020.