Mehrabad International Airport
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Mehrabad International Airport
فرودگاه بین المللی مهرآباد
|Airport type||Public / Military|
|Owner||Government of Iran|
|Operator||Iran Airports Company|
Iranian Air Force
Islamic Republic of Iran Army Aviation
Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps
Iranian Police Aviation
|Serves||Tehran metropolitan area|
|Focus city for|
|Elevation AMSL||3,962 ft / 1,208 m|
Mehrabad International Airport (Persian: فرودگاه بین المللی مهرآباد) (IATA: THR, ICAO: OIII), is an international airport serving Tehran, the capital city of Iran. Prior to the construction of the larger Imam Khomeini International Airport in 2007, Mehrabad was Tehran's primary airport in both international and domestic traffic, but now serves only domestic flights. Despite this, in 2016 Mehrabad Airport was the busiest airport in Iran in terms of passengers, handling 16,678,351 passengers in total. The airport is also used by the Government of Iran and is one of the bases of the Iranian Air Force.
The airport was used for the first time as an airfield for aviation club planes in 1938, then after World War II along with becoming internationally recognized by joining Iran civil aviation organization to the ICAO in 1949, the airport also became an air force base.
Newly delivered Republic F-84G Thunderjets (fighter) and Lockheed T-33A Shooting Star (trainer) arrived, May 1957 and April 1956, respectively. Iranian Air Force. In 1955 just after construction of first asphalt paved runway a new terminal building (Current Terminal 1) for both international and domestic flights was designed and constructed. Among the designers of the initial modern buildings of the airport was the famous architect William Pereira.
In 1961, Mehrabad Airport added a side building (current Terminal 2) used for arrival flights.
The new Tehran Imam Khomeini International Airport (IKA) was scheduled to open in 2004 with international flights gradually changing from Mehrabad starting with flights to countries bordering the Persian Gulf. After IKA's initial opening in May 2004, due to complications, it was not until the end of 2007 that the plan to move the majority of international flights to the new airport was completed. All international flights have now been moved to IKA.
In June 2020, Mehrabad Airport announced a new terminal to replace Terminals 4 and 6. The new terminal is to have 20 gates (10 with jetbridges) and a new CIP Terminal. It is not known when construction will start.
Mehrabad International Airport consists of six terminals:
- VIP Terminal is used for Meraj Airlines for Governmental flights.
- CIP Terminal can be used at a passenger's request. The Terminal is open to all requests.
- Terminals 1 and 2 handles departures and arrivals - for IranAir, Airtours, ATA, Kish, Meraj, Qeshm, Zagros.
- Terminals 4 and 6 handle departures and arrivals respectively - for all other airlines.
- Terminals 3 is used for freight flights.
- Terminal Crew is used for the flight crews of all airlines.
An aircraft engineering and maintenance company called Fajr Ashian has a maintenance hangar adjacent to main airport premises. The hangar is linked to Mehrabad Airport through a taxiway crossing "Tehran-Karaj" Highway. Fajr Ashian takes care of aircraft of many companies, including Iran Air, Mahan Air, Meraj Airlines.
Airlines and destinations
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|Fars Air Qeshm||Bishkek, Istanbul-Sabiha Gökçen|
|Iran Air Cargo||Abadan, Ahwaz, Ardabil, Bandar Abbas, Birjand, Bushehr, Qeshm Island, Isfahan, Kermanshah, Khorramabad, Kish Island, Lar, Mashhad, Rasht, Sari, Shiraz, Tabriz, Tehran-Imam Khomeini, Urmia, Yazd, Zahedan|
|Iran Aseman Airlines Cargo||Abadan, Ahwaz, Ardabil, Asalouyeh, Bam, Birjand, Bojnord, Bushehr, Gachsaran, Gorgan, Qeshm Island, Ilam, Isfahan, Kermanshah, Kish Island, Khoy, Lamerd, Lar, Mashhad, Rafsanjan, Ramsar, Rasht, Sabzevar, Sahand, Sanandaj, Shiraz, Tabas, Tabriz, Yasouj, Yazd|
|Mahan Air Cargo||Ardabil, Asalouyeh, Bandar Abbas, Birjand, Dezful, Iranshahr, Isfahan, Kerman, Khorramabad, Kish Island, Mahshahr, Mashhad, Shiraz, Sirjan, Zabol|
The airport is home to the head offices of Iran Air and the Iran Civil Aviation Organization. In addition the Iranian Airports Holding Company also has its head office at Mehrabad Airport, nearby Terminal 2.
Accidents and incidents
- On 15 March 1974 a Sterling Airways Sud Aviation Caravelle suffered a landing gear failure. As the aircraft was taxiing, the right main landing gear failed, causing the right wing to collapse and catch fire. Fifteen passengers were killed in the accident.
- On 5 December 1974 a roof collapsed, killing 17 and injuring dozens more.
- On 8 February 1993 a mid-air collision occurred between Iran Air Tours Tupolev Tu-154M and IRIAF Sukhoi Su-24 killing all 133 people on board both aircraft involved.
- On 20 April 2005, a Boeing 707-3J9C had an accident while landing in Mehrabad airport. After touchdown on runway 29L problems with the undercarriage (failure of landing gear or a burst tire) caused the Boeing 707 to slide off the runway into the Kan River. Three passengers were killed after they fell in the river during the evacuation.
- On 19 June 2005 a Northwest Airlines DC-10 en route from Mumbai to Amsterdam made an emergency landing at Mehrabad Airport due to an indication of a fire in the cargo hold, which turned out to be a false alarm. The plane left 8 hours later without incident.
- On 6 December 2005 an Iranian Air Force C-130 Hercules crashed in Tehran shortly after taking off from the airport.
- On 2 January 2008, an Iran Air Fokker 100 (EP-IDB) plane carrying 100 passengers skidded off the runway after part of its wing caught fire when attempting to take off on a domestic flight to Shiraz Airport. The landing gear disintegrated and the ensuing fire partially consumed the wings. No one was injured in the accident, which happened around 07:30 IRST amid heavy snowfall at the airport.
- On 10 August 2014 Sepahan Airlines Flight 5915, an HESA IrAn-140, crashed shortly after takeoff from Mehrabad International Airport. The aircraft experienced engine malfunction and attempted a return to the airport 4 minutes after takeoff, but was unable to maintain altitude and crashed into a residential area. 39 people were killed and 9 were injured.
- On 15 October 2015 a Mahan Air Boeing 747 en route to Bandar Abbas in southern Iran lost pieces of an engine after take-off, returning for a successful emergency landing. None of the 300 people on board were injured.
- On 19 March 2019 a Fokker 100 (registration: EP-IDG) had an emergency landing with its main landing gear not extended. Nobody was injured in the accident.
The airport is served by two stations of the Tehran Metro:
In popular culture
- The 2011 video game Battlefield 3 features a mission titled "Going Hunting" which requires the player to carry out aerial attacks on the airport.
- The 2012 movie "Argo", directed by Ben Affleck also features this airport.
- Iran Civil Aviation Organization
- Transport in Iran
- List of airports in Iran
- List of the busiest airports in Iran
- List of airlines of Iran
- Meraj Airlines
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Media related to Mehrabad International Airport at Wikimedia Commons