Bahrain Airport Company kicks off the Worldwide Airport Lawyers Association (WALA) Conference

Bahrain Airport Company (BAC), the operator and managing body of Bahrain International Airport (BIA), kicked off the first day of the prestigious 14th edition Worldwide Airport Lawyers Association (WALA) Conference. This marks a significant milestone for Bahrain, as it is the first country in both the Gulf and Middle East regions to host the esteemed Worldwide Airport Lawyers Association (WALA) Conference.

The Inaugural day of the Conference took place on Thursday, May 30th at the Gulf Hotel Bahrain and witnessed participation from esteemed CEOs of various airports across the Gulf region. The Conference serves as a crucial platform for fostering collaboration, sharing expertise, and highlighting impactful case studies presented by international airports.

Bahrain Airport Company (BAC) Chief Executive Officer, Mohamed Yousif AlBinfalah commented on the Conference, “Today, we engaged in insightful discussions on the evolving aviation landscape, digital transformation, sustainability, and operational efficiencies, with several esteemed CEOs from various airports across the region. This Conference is not just an event, but a steppingstone towards our commitment to driving the global aviation dialogue and positioning Bahrain as a key player in this sector.”

He added, “WALA Conference serves as a crucial platform, bringing together thought leaders, industry stakeholders, and domain experts from around the world to explore the latest developments and issues shaping the future of the aviation sector. Together, we can collectively navigate new horizons within the sector, paving the way for a sustainable future in the regional and global aviation landscapes.”

Vice president of WALA, Michael Siebold said, “At the 14th edition of WALA Conference, we were honoured to witness the first WALA Conference in the Gulf and Middle East regions. Thanks to the initiative of Bahrain Airport Company (BAC) Chief Executive Officer, Mohamed Yousif Al Binfalah. Three airport group CEOs shared their invaluable insights on the industry trends and the guidance that the Middle East can provide. Their collegial, inspiring, and respectful dialogue exemplified true leadership at its finest. We are deeply grateful for their thoughtful contributions, which have undoubtedly elevated the discourse and charted a course for the future development of the aviation sector in our region.”

The Conference opened with a dynamic welcome session and opening keynote speaker that analysed the changing global regulatory landscape and the leadership role of the Gulf region, followed by a compelling session on Gulf countries CEOs perspective which included speakers Mohamed Yousif Al Binfalah, Bahrain Airport Company (BAC) CEO, Sheikh Aimen bin Ahmed Al Hosni, Oman Airport CEO and Ayman Abdulaziz Aboabah, Riyadh Airports Company CEO. The Conference also delved into the ‘Environment, Social, and Governance (ESG)’ issues impacting airports from a legal standpoint.

Subsequent sessions highlighted the exploration of the North America airport market, analyzing the complexities faced by international airport operators when investing and identifying potential opportunities and new trends in the legal relationships between airports, airlines, and consumers, along with local and foreign perspectives on airport business. The Conference also tackled the topic on Urban Air Mobility and how UK airports operators are being challenged.

Hosting the 2024 edition of the WALA Conference in Bahrain signifies a notable milestone for the Kingdom. This achievement underscores BAC’s role as a vital contributor to the aviation sector and highlights Bahrain’s steadfast commitment to establishing its position on the global aviation map. This event is a clear indication of the Kingdom’s growing influence and strategic vision in the aviation industry.

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