From 21 -23 January 2016 the Bahrain International Airshow took place at Sakhir Airbase. The biannual event is rapidly growing. During the 2016 event US$2.8 billion of orders and commitments were made – this is a 161% increase on 2012 event. The event attracted 120 participating companies, 30,000 Trade Visitors, 57 civil delegations comprising 106 delegates from 17 countries, 29 military delegations from 18 countries, 106 Aircraft on flying and static display and a 4 hour flying display.
The flightline is adjacent to the static display and offers good photo opportunities. The stairs to the aircraftgate can be used for topside photos.
Each day the flying display was opened by the formation fly-by of the Royal Bahrain Airforce and consisted of 3x F-16 and 3x F-5. The US Airforce displayed the F-22 Raptor with a single fly-by each day. Unfortunately it was displayed too high, so most people probably did not even noticed it.
UAE Mirage 2000
Probably the best Mirage solodisplay around. The UAE Mirage 2000 pilot really shows the agility of the RDY-version.
Airbus 330 Kuwait Airways
UAE Al Fursan
Sarang Helicopter Display Team
DHL Twister Aerobatic Team
The best photos are made from the other side of the airfield at a location near the University of Bahrain. This location is direct under the show center and the sun is from behind. The map below shows the way from the showground to the photospot. As can be seen, to get to the spot it requires some 180-s and backtrack.
After the flying displays you can return to the showground to do sunset and the night static pictures. On average I left at 8 PM back to the hotel.
Also worth doing is staying for the departure day after the show. On this day most aircraft depart and can be photographed without fences and in operational condition. Also support transport aircraft arrive during this day.
For sure I will visit the next BIAS in 2018!