Bahrain plans to set up a space research agency so that the country can take advantage of state-of-the-art technology. His Majesty King Hamad announced this as he received at Sakhir Airbase , in the presence of His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme Commander and First Deputy Premier, delegations taking part in the Bahrain International Airshow  that opened on Thursday (January 16). His Majesty welcomed guests from other countries and expressed delight at their participation in the third edition of the show. He said the success of the show reflected Bahrain's keenness to cope with cutting-edge technology, as well as its cadres' outstanding capabilities. "Bahrain is resolved to bring about more achievements at all levels," he was quoted as saying in the Gulf Daily News, our sister publication. He revealed that a space research agency  would be announced in the coming days, through which the kingdom would take optimum advantage of outer space to meet its development needs and benefit it in various fields. The King pointed out that Bahrain was the oldest aviation centre in the region and highlighted that the first ever-recorded flight landed in Bahrain in 1918 and the first charter flight of pearl traders from Bahrain to Europe was in 1927. He added that British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC)  chose Bahrain when it operated its first regular flights in 1932 in its London-Bahrain-Delhi route. He affirmed that the air transport industry in Bahrain received a further boost in 1950 when the Gulf Aviation Company - which then became Gulf Air - was established in co-operation with the BOAC. In 1976, Bahrain International Airport became the first airport in the Middle East to receive a Concorde flight. His Majesty expressed delight that BIAS 2014 coincided with the biennial anniversary of the long-standing Bahraini-British relations, and thanked the British administration for its contributions. He also paid tribute to His Majesty's Personal Representative and BIAS supreme organising committee chairman Shaikh Abdulla bin Hamad Al Khalifa for his efforts to ensure the show's success. The King later hosted a luncheon in honour of the participants and guests.