This Day in History

This Day in History (1972): Bahrain's New Air Terminal

New airport features walkways to planes and a longer runway.

This Day in History (1972): Bahrain's New Air Terminal

From the June 14, 1972, edition of The Arabian Sun

Old-timers in the Gulf may regret the passing of Bahrain’s mini-air terminal, with its friendly wooden gates, its cozy bar, and the garden court where many a prolonged farewell was taken.


But it was built only in 1961, and no doubt even older old-timers missed the palm-branch barasti that was the first Bahrain air terminal in 1932.


Progress must be served, and the government of Bahrain has wisely decided to keep up with -- or even a little ahead of -- the age of jumbo jets.


IN December 1971, the Amir of Bahrain opened the new air terminal, just two years after work on the site began. In April 1972, the terminal went into full operation, and it now handles 12 Boeing 747s a week, as well as its full quota of smaller aircraft.


The most striking feature is the set of four airbridges that snake out onto the apron like accordions, and glue themselves to the doors of the aircraft. The passengers step straight into these carpeted bridges -- tunnels would be more descriptive -- and walk into the terminal without touching the tarmac, climbing into a bus, or ruffling a hair in the breeze.


The runway was lengthened for the jumbos at the same time as the new terminal was constructed.


Caption for top photo: SLEEK AND COOL, the transit-departure lounge in the new air terminal in Bahrain now processes hundreds of travelers a day. The terminal went into full operation in April, and along with a regular quota of standard jets, handles 12 Boeing jumbos each week.


Also on this day

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1985 Five members of the European Economic Community sign the Schengen Agreement and establish a free travel zone with no border controls


1977 Actor Alan Reed, the original voice of Fred Flintstone, dies in Los Angeles after suffering a heart attack two months shy of his 70th birthday


1967 "Mariner 5" is launched toward Venus


1959 Disneyland Monorail System, the first daily operating monorail system in the Western Hemisphere, opens to the public in California


1949 Albert II, a rhesus monkey, rides a V-2 rocket to an altitude of 83 miles, becoming the first mammal (and monkey) in space


1937 Pennsylvania becomes the first and only state to celebrate Flag Day as an official state holiday


1919 John Alcock and Arthur Whitten Brown depart from Newfoundland on the first nonstop transatlantic flight


1900 Hawaii becomes a U.S. territory


1839 The village of Henley-on-Thames, on the River Thames in Oxfordshire, stages its first regatta


1789 "HMS Bounty" mutiny survivors, including Captain William Blight, and 18 others, reach Timor after a nearly 4,600-mile journey in an open boat


1775 The Continental Army is established, marking the birth of the U.S. Armed Forces


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