Tehran Imam Khomeini International Airport

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Imam Khomeini
International Airport

فرودگاه بین‌المللی امام خمینی
Tehran IKIA Logo.png
Tehran IKIA at Night.jpg


IKA is located in Iran
Location of airport in Iran
Airport type Public
Operator Iranian Airports Holding Company
Serves Tehran
Location Ahmadabad, Iran
Opened 8 May 2004
Hub for
Elevation AMSL 3,305 ft / 1,007 m
Coordinates 35°24′58″N 051°09′08″E / 35.41611°N 51.15222°E / 35.41611; 51.15222
Website ikia.airport.ir
Direction Length Surface
ft m
11L/29R 13,772 4,198 Asphalt
13,940 4,249 Asphalt
Statistics (۱۳۹۲ - 2013)
Aircraft Movements 36,827
Passengers 4,986,477
Cargo 98,904 tons
Source: Iranian Airports Holding Company[1]

Imam Khomeini International Airport[2] (Persian: فرودگاه بین‌المللی امام خمینی‎) (IATA: IKAICAO: OIIE) is the main international airport of Iran, located 30 kilometres (19 mi) southwest of the city of Tehran, near the localities of Robat-Karim and Eslamshahr, on a 13,500-hectare (135 km2) site. It was designed to replace Mehrabad International Airport, which is in the west of the city, now inside the city boundaries. The airport was originally designated as Ahmadabad but was later renamed to "Tehran Imam Khomeini International Airport".

The airport, operated by the Iranian Airports Holding Company, is the home base of Iran Air, Mahan Air, Iran Aseman Airlines, Qeshm Airlines, Taban Air, Caspian Airlines, and Zagros Airlines. As of August 2014, Imam Khomeini International Airport serves more than 40 airlines operating over 700 of weekly flights connecting Tehran to cities in over 30 countries and territories worldwide.


Tehran Imam Khomeini International Airport in map of Tehran (in black)
Terminal building at Imam Khomeini International Airport
Baggage Claim area at Imam Khomeini International Airport

Construction and inauguration[edit]

The construction began before the Iranian Revolution of 1979. The original designers were TAMS, a consortium of US designers. A local joint venture was formed and was called TAMS-AFFA, Aziz FarmanFarmaian and Associates, the firm created by Abdol-Aziz Mirza Farmanfarmaian, to carry out the full design and supervision of construction.

After the Iranian Revolution, the project was abandoned until the government of Iran decided to design and build the airport using local know-how. The French firm ADP was selected to head the local designers and engineering firms. A turnkey design and build contract was awarded to a local general contractor company, Kayson, to carry out and manage the construction. After two years this contract was abandoned and was awarded to a Bonyad, the Mostazafan & Janbazan (M&J Foundation), a public cartel.[3]

After construction of the main terminal was finished by M&J Foundation, the Iranian Civil Aviation Organization decided to turn the management of operations along with the construction of the second terminal to the TAV (Tepe-Akfen-Vie) consortium of two Turkish (Tepe and Akfen) and an Austrian (Vie) companies.

The original opening was scheduled for 11 February 2004, the onset of the auspicious "Ten-Day Dawn" (1–11 February) celebrations, marking the anniversary of the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

There were numerous issues surrounding the construction of the airport including the supply of fuel to the new airport, and a delay in signing a deal with the Iranian oil ministry forced a delay in the opening of the airport until 8 May 2004.

Just prior to the opening on 8 May, two local airlines refused to switch to the new airport. Economic Hayat-e No daily quoted Ali Abedzadeh, director of semi-privately-owned Iran Aseman Airlines, as saying "We are not flying from an airport run by foreigners." TAV officials were ordered to withdraw their personnel and equipment from the airport on 7 May 2004, and operations were handed over to Iran Air.

"I think they (the armed forces) were given false reports that the Turks were still on the site, while they had all evacuated the airport by Friday," airport manager Hossein Pirouzi said. However, on 8 May, a few hours after the opening of airport, the Revolutionary Guards of the Iranian Armed Forces closed it, citing security fears over the use of foreigners in the running of the airport. Only one Emirates flight from Dubai was allowed to land. The second flight from Dubai, which was an Iran Air flight, was forced to land in Isfahan International Airport, because the Mehrabad Airport did not allow it to land there after the Imam Khomeini airport was closed by the armed forces. The rest of the flights were diverted to Mehrabad.

On 11 May, in a meeting of the Turkish Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Ugur Ziyal and Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi, the Turkish expressed uneasiness about the actions of the Iranian armed forces. The airport reopened on 13 May, as deputy head of Iran's Joint Chiefs of staff Brigadier-General Alireza Afshar stated "because foreign companies will no longer be in charge of the airport's operation, security obstacles are removed."

In April 2005 the $350 million Imam Khomeini International Airport was reopened under the management of a consortium of four local airlines—Mahan Air, Aseman, Caspian Airlines and Kish Air—although no formal contract appeared to have been awarded. Soon later management of the airport has been transferred to the Iranian Airports Holding Company which in behalf of Iranian Ministry of Roads and Transportation is in charge of operating all civil and governmental Iranian airports except some belongs to special organizations like Oil ministry or Armed Forces.[4]

Further complicating matters, on 29 April 2005, the United Kingdom and Canada warned its citizens against using the airport due to alleged safety concerns concerning the runway, which has been claimed to have been built over ancient qanats (subterranean waterways).[5][6] Iranian officials countered these claims by stating that there are no safety issues and that the International Civil Aviation Organization had inspected and approved the airport.

On 26 October 2007, it was announced that as of 28 October 2007 at midnight, all international flights except those bound to and from Damascus, Jeddah and Medina were transferred to the Imam Khomeini International Airport and the IKA became Tehran's primary international airport. All flights have now been moved to IKA except domestic flights and flights to Saudi Arabia for Hajj and Umrah.[7]

Development since 2009[edit]

About 3 trillion rials (US$335 million) have been sought for completing Phase 1 of Imam Khomeini International Airport (IKIA), in the next Iranian year to March 2009, announced managing director of the State Airports Company, Asghar Ketabchi. According to a fax sent to Iran Daily by the company's Information Dissemination Department, if the sum is made available and the same amount is earmarked for the year to March 2010, the first phase of the airport would go into operation in the year to March 2009. He said that constructing the second runway, completing Customs Administrations' and a number of other buildings are among the projects for Phase 1 of IKIA. Presently the airport has the capacity to handle 6.5 million passengers per annum, he said and noted that 3 million people will use the airport by 19 March. Given the eight percent growth in flights, it is estimated that IKIA will have moved five million passengers by March 2009. The newly built Imam Khomeini International, the largest airport in Iran, sprawls over an area of 13,500 hectares. About 3.2 trillion rials (US$357 million) will be needed to promote the airport to a world-class level.

The French firm ADPI, subsidiary of the Aéroports de Paris Group has been commissioned for providing a master plan development study, with a second phase of development offering a 26.5 million annual passengers throughput capacity.

Completion part of phase one including cargo terminal and VIP terminal is currently under construction with Haj terminal in engineering phase and airport Hotel in bid to find investor which this latest one transferred to phase 2 package. Phases 2 & 3 of the airport have been designed to extend the airport capacity to 26.5 million and 50 million passengers annually with another possible phase 4 to reaching 90 million per year. Study and design for phase 4 will be done as soon as construction of phase 3 starts. Due to the expectation that airport is quickly reaching its current capacity of 6.5 million per year, a bid to find investors for second phase that has been announced by airport officials. It has partially concluded by selecting Naja Bonyad Taavon (a semi-governmental foundation) as the developer of most of phase 2 including a new 238,000 m2 passenger terminal with annual capacity of 20 million, a southern runway, new parking with 2500 cars capacity and a 4-star 250-room airport hotel with some of execution activities have already been started. This phase will cost USD2.2 billion from which USD700 million will be provided by Iranian government and the rest USD1.5 billion was the matter of bid which the winner Bonyad Taavon is committed to invest about US$1.2 billion of that and take at least 36 months to finish its portion.,[8][9]

The airport was equiped with a control tower simulator designed by iranian knowledge base firm FARAZ GROUP in 2014 for training of ATC staff which is the fist time in iran that an airport has this kind of simulator after iranian revolution. the firt international training course was held in IKA by usind this modern simulator for 53 syrian air traffic controllers by November 2014.


Imam Khomeini Airport has 1 passenger terminal, with a total annual handling capacity of 6.5 million passengers and 120,000 tonnes of cargo. Terminal 2, the Pilgrimage Terminal, is currently under construction. In 2013, the airport handled 4.986 million passengers, a 1% increase over the previous year. This made it the eleventh busiest airport by international passenger traffic in the Middle East. In addition to being an important passenger hub, the airport is one of the busiest cargo airports in the region, handling 98,904 tonnes of cargo in 2013. The total number of commercial aircraft movements was 36,827 in 2013.[10]

IKA is equipped with the ILS CAT II since August 2009. The second ILS system for serving other runway was purchased seven years ago but the selling firm refused to set it up due to sanctions against Iran. The ILS was installed by Iranian experts but were not operating correctly and switched off.[11]

IKA has obtained the international certificate of Integrated Management System (IMS). IMS includes OHSAS 18001, ISO 14001: 2004 and ISO 9001, which are issued for safety and professional hygiene, protecting the environment and the quality of management respectively.[12] Imam Khomeini International Airport, is also the first busiest international airport in Iran, achieved CAO Airport Certificate on June 10, 2013.

Airlines and destinations[edit]


Cities with direct passenger flights from Tehran Imam Khomeini International Airport as of November 2009
Airlines Destinations Terminal
Aegean Airlines Athens (begins 1 October 2015) [13] 1 A & B
Aeroflot Moscow-Sheremetyevo 1 A & B
Air Arabia Sharjah 1 A & B
Alitalia Rome-Fiumicino 1 A & B
Ata Airlines Batumi,[14] Tbilisi[15] 1 A & B
Atlasjet Adana, Ercan, Istanbul-Atatürk 1 A & B
Austrian Airlines Vienna (begins 1 April 2015) 1 A & B
Austrian Airlines
operated by Tyrolean Airways
Vienna[16] (ends 31 March 2015) 1 A & B
Azerbaijan Airlines Baku 1 A & B
Belavia Minsk-National 1 A & B
Bulgarian Air Charter Seasonal charter: Varna 1 A & B
Caspian Airlines Dubai-International, Najaf, Sulaimaniyah 1 A & B
China Southern Airlines Ürümqi 1 A & B
Corendon Airlines Antalya, Istanbul-Sabiha Gökçen 1 A & B
Emirates Dubai-International 1 A & B
Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi 1 A & B
flydubai Dubai-International 1 A & B
flyvista Tbilisi 1 A & B
Freebird Airlines Adana, Bursa, Gaziantep, Izmir 1 A & B
Germania[17] Berlin-Schönefeld,[18] Düsseldorf [18] 1 A & B
Gulf Air Bahrain[19] 1 A & B
Iran Air Amsterdam, Ankara, Baghdad, Baku, Beijing-Capital, Beirut, Cologne/Bonn, Dubai-International, Frankfurt, Gothenburg-Landvetter, Hamburg, Istanbul-Atatürk, Karachi, Kish Island,[20] Kuala Lumpur, London-Heathrow, Milan-Malpensa, Mumbai, Moscow-Sheremetyevo,[21] Paris-Orly, Rome-Fiumicino, Shiraz,[20] Stockholm-Arlanda, Tashkent, Tehran-Mehrabad,[20] Vienna 1 A & B
Iran Aseman Airlines Dubai-International, Denpasar/Bali, Istanbul-Atatürk, Istanbul-Sabiha Gökçen, Kabul, Kuala Lumpur, Stockholm-Arlanda, Sulaimaniyah, Tashkent, Yerevan
Seasonal charter: Varna
1 A & B
Iraqi Airways Baghdad, Najaf[22] 1 A & B
Kuwait Airways Kuwait 1 A & B
Lufthansa Frankfurt 1 A & B
Mahan Air[23] Almaty, Ankara, Bahrain, Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi, Beijing-Capital, Beirut, Dammam, Delhi, Dubai-International, Düsseldorf, Erbil, Guangzhou, Isparta, Istanbul-Atatürk, Izmir, Kabul, Kiev-Boryspil, Kuala Lumpur, Kuwait, Milan-Malpensa, Moscow-Vnukovo, Munich, Shanghai-Pudong, Sochi (begins 18 April 2015), [24] Yerevan
Seasonal charter: Antalya, Bucharest, Colombo, Goa, Konya, Larnaca, Malé, Medina, Najaf, Phuket, Saint Petersburg, Varna
1 A & B
Meraj Airlines Baghdad, Istanbul-Atatürk, Istanbul-Sabiha Gökçen, Izmir, Kuala Lumpur, Najaf 1 A & B
Nouvelair Seasonal charter: Enfidha 1 A & B
Oman Air Muscat 1 A & B
Pegasus Airlines Istanbul-Sabiha Gökçen
Seasonal: Alanya
1 A & B
Qatar Airways Doha 1 A & B
Qeshm Airlines Baghdad, Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi, [25] Bucharest, Dubai-International, Istanbul-Atatürk, Izmir,Jakarta-Soekarno Hatta, Najaf, Sulaimaniyah
Seasonal charter: Konya, Larnaca, Varna
1 A & B
Syrian Air Damascus 1 A & B
Taban Air Ankara, Dushanbe, Izmir, Moscow-Domodedovo, Najaf
Seasonal: Kiev-Boryspil, Saint Petersburg
1 A & B
Tailwind Airlines Antalya 1 A & B
Tajik Air Dushanbe 1 A & B
Turkish Airlines Ankara, Istanbul-Atatürk, Istanbul-Sabiha Gökçen 1 A & B
Ukraine International Airlines Seasonal: Kiev-Boryspil 1 A & B
UM Airlines Kiev-Boryspil 1 A & B
Zagros Airlines Baghdad, Bahrain, Isparta, Izmir 1 A & B


Airlines Destinations Terminal
Iran Air Cargo Amsterdam, Ankara, Baku, Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi, Beijing-Capital, Beirut, Cologne/Bonn, Copenhagen, Dammam, Dubai-International, Doha, Frankfurt, Gothenburg-Landvetter, Hamburg, Istanbul-Atatürk, Karachi, Kuala Lumpur, Kuwait City, London-Heathrow, Milan-Malpensa, Moscow-Sheremetyevo, Mumbai, Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Stockholm-Arlanda, Tashkent, Vienna Cargo A
Lufthansa Cargo Frankfurt Cargo B
Pegasus Cargo Istanbul-Sabiha Gökçen Cargo B
Turkish Airlines Cargo Baku, Istanbul-Atatürk, Karachi Cargo B
Qatar Airways Cargo Doha, Hong Kong Cargo B

Ground transportation[edit]

Imam Khomeini Airport is accessible from Tehran by Car, taxi and bus via the Tehran-Qom Freeway. An airport access road connects the freeway to the airport terminal, continuing to serve Robat-Karim via an interchange with Saidi Highway. An extension to the southern part of Line 1 of Tehran Metro for IKA airport is currently under construction and scheduled to reach the airport in first quarter of 2011. There is also plan to have Line 3 of the Tehran Metro to reach its southern terminus at IKA in future.

Accidents and incidents[edit]

  • On 4 January 2008, an Iran Air Boeing 747-100B had three of its engines catch fire whilst landing at Imam Khomeini Airport. Heavy snowfall managed to extinguish the fires and the airplane returned to service two days after the incident.[citation needed]


  1. ^ [1] (May 2014).
  2. ^ Name
  3. ^ World Airport Codes IKA
  4. ^ "Economist Intelligence Unit". 18 August 2008.  |chapter= ignored (help)
  5. ^ Reuters. "Iran and UK in row over airport". CNN, 1 May 2005. Retrieved 13 June 2009.
  6. ^ "Iran's new airport in safety fear". BBC News, 3 May 2005. Retrieved 13 June 2009.
  7. ^ Rezaee, Siavash (30 October 2007). "President of National Civil Aviation Organization in an interview with "Iran": small airlines will be eliminated" (in Persian). Iran-e Eqtesadi. p. 2. 
  8. ^ "IKA development phases". Echo news. Retrieved 29 December 2009. 
  9. ^ "IKA development phases". Jame Jam. Retrieved 15 March 2009. 
  10. ^ FlightStats - Global Flight Tracker
  11. ^ [2][dead link]
  12. ^ "Imam Khomeini airport obtains IMS certificate". Presstv.com. 28 June 2009. Retrieved 19 June 2010. 
  13. ^ http://airlineroute.net/2015/03/13/a3-ika-oct15/
  14. ^ Kirtzkhalia, N. "Five airlines to resume flights to Batumi in summer". Trend.az. Retrieved 28 May 2012. 
  15. ^ http://news.am/eng/news/51782.html
  16. ^ "Austrian Airlines returns to Iran". Wirtschaftsblatt. Retrieved 15 January 2013. 
  17. ^ "Germania Flight Schedule / 30.12.2014 - 01.11.2015" (PDF). Germania. 
  18. ^ a b "Germania to Start Iran Service from late-Feb 2015". Airline Route. Retrieved 24 December 2014. 
  19. ^ 10 February 2014 8:14 AM (2014-02-10). "Bahrain's Gulf Air to resume flights to Tehran next month - Yahoo News". News.yahoo.com. Retrieved 2014-08-10. 
  20. ^ a b c http://ikia.airport.ir/HomePage.aspx?TabID=6781&Site=ikia.airport&Lang=fa-IR
  21. ^ "Iran Air Resumes Moscow Service from late-Sept 2014". Airline Route. 19 September 2014. Retrieved 19 September 2014. 
  22. ^ [3][dead link]
  23. ^ http://www.mahan.aero/en/destinations/route-network
  24. ^ http://iranairlinenews.com/gallery-495/
  25. ^ https://www.bangkokflightservices.com/fullnews_index.php?id=557
  26. ^ a b "Lufthansa, KLM planes collide at IKIA". Press TV. Retrieved 5 January 2008. 
  27. ^ "Iranian Airliner Crashes in Northwest, Killing 168". Bloomberg L.P. Retrieved 15 July 2009. 

External links[edit]