Imam Khomeini International Airport

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Tehran International Airport

فرودگاه بین‌المللی
IKIA Logo 1.png
Tehran IKIA at Night.jpg
Airport typePublic
OwnerGovernment of Iran
OperatorTehran Airport City
ServesTehran metropolitan area
LocationAhmadabad, Tehran, Iran
Opened8 May 2004 (18 years ago) (2004-05-08)
Hub for
Time zoneIRST (UTC+3:30)
 • Summer (DST)IRDT (UTC+04:30)
Elevation AMSL3,305 ft / 1,007 m
Coordinates35°24′58″N 051°09′08″E / 35.41611°N 51.15222°E / 35.41611; 51.15222Coordinates: 35°24′58″N 051°09′08″E / 35.41611°N 51.15222°E / 35.41611; 51.15222
IKA is located in Iran
Location within Iran
IKA is located in Middle East
IKA (Middle East)
Direction Length Surface
ft m
11L/29R 13,772 4,198 Asphalt
13,940 4,249 Asphalt
Statistics (2017)
Aircraft Movements58,123 Increase 9%
Passengers8,852,232 Increase 13%
Cargo (t)163,699 Increase 11%

Tehran International Airport is the primary international airport of Tehran, the capital city of Iran, located 30 kilometres (19 mi) southwest of Tehran, near the localities of Robat Karim and Eslamshahr and spread over an area of 13,500 hectares (33,000 acres) of land. Along with Mehrabad Airport, it is one of the two international airports serving Tehran. All international flights in Tehran are currently served by this airport, and all domestic flights are served by Mehrabad Airport. IKA ranks third in terms of total passenger traffic in Iran after Tehran Mehrabad Airport and Mashhad Airport. The airport is operated by the Iran Airports Company and is the primary operating base for Iran Air and Mahan Air.


Early planning[edit]

Construction of the airport began prior to the 1979 Iranian revolution. The original designers were Tippetts-Abbett-McCarthy-Stratton (TAMS), an American engineering and architectural consulting partnership. A local joint venture was formed between TAMS and local firm Abdol Aziz Farmanfarmaian Associates called TAMS-AFFA, to carry out the full design and supervision of construction. The original design of the airport was going to be similar to DFW airport. Following the Iranian revolution, however, the project was abandoned until the government of Iran decided to design and build the airport using local expertise.


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 Co., to carry out and manage the construction. After two years this contract was abandoned and was awarded to a bonyad, the Mostazafan Foundation.[2]

Initial opening[edit]

After construction of Terminal 1 was completed by the Mostazafan 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 consisting 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 Tehran international 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 unease 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."

Second opening[edit]

Mahan Air Airbus A340s parked at IKIA.
The Emirates Airbus A380 saluted by traditional water cannon ceremony In Tehran Int'l Airport, 2014

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 was transferred to the Iran Airports Company which in behalf of Iranian Ministry of Roads and Transportation is in charge of operating all civil and governmental Iranian airports except some belonging to special organizations like Oil ministry or Armed Forces.


Passenger terminals[edit]

As of June 2022, IKIA has two active terminals.

Terminal 1[edit]

Terminal 1, IKIA's first active terminal, has a total annual handling capacity of 6.5 million passengers and 120,000 tonnes of cargo. In 2017, it handled nearly 9 million passengers.[3]

Salam Terminal (Terminal 2)[edit]

Salaam Terminal, IKIA Second Active Terminal, has a capacity of 5 million passengers per year. While originally intended as a dedicated pilgrimage terminal, according to Iran's former Minister of Roads and Urban Development Abbas Akhoundi, it will be open to all varieties of flights.[3]

Iranshahr Terminal (Terminal 3)[edit]

IKIA's proposed third erminal, called the Iranshahr Terminal, is currently in its planning phase. In February 2016, its development contract had been awarded to the Dutch engineering firm Netherlands Airport Consultants (NACO), a subsidiary of Royal HaskoningDHV.[3] However, in 2017, NACO withdrew from the contract after its failure to obtain financing due in part to US sanctions against Iran.[citation needed] The Iranshahr Terminal is planned to have a capacity of 20 million passengers per year, which would bring the airport's total passenger capacity to 30 million passengers per year.[4]


There are currently two runways at IKA of which only one is operational. The operational runway is equipped with the ILS CAT II since August 2009. A second ILS system was purchased seven years ago to serve the other runway but the selling firm refused to set it up due to sanctions against Iran. The ILS was installed by Iranian technicians.[5] A third runway positioned to the south of the existing runways and passenger terminal is in final stages of construction.


In October 2015, French corporation AccorHotels opened its Novotel and Ibis-branded hotels on the airport premises, marking the entry of the first international hotel chain into the Iranian market since the 1979 revolution.[6] The hotel chains left Iran in 2021 after the ending of their contract, renaming the hotels to Remis and Rexan, The two hotels are connected to Terminal 1 by a sky bridge passing through the airport metro station.

Airlines and destinations[edit]


Aeroflot Moscow–Sheremetyevo
Air Arabia Sharjah
AnadoluJet Istanbul–Sabiha Gökçen
Seasonal: Ankara, İzmir
Armenia Airways Yerevan
ATA Airlines Baghdad، Istanbul, Najaf
Austrian Airlines Vienna
Buta Airways Baku
Caspian Airlines Najaf, Van
Cham Wings Airlines Damascus
Conviasa Caracas[7]
Emirates Dubai–International
FlyBaghdad Baghdad, Najaf
flydubai Dubai–International
FLYONE Armenia Yerevan
Iran Air Baku, Beirut, Cologne/Bonn, Damascus, Denizli, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Isparta, Istanbul, İzmir, Karachi, Lahore, London–Heathrow, Milan–Malpensa, Mumbai, Najaf, Paris–Charles de Gaulle, Rome–Fiumicino, Vienna, Yerevan, Rimini
Iran Airtour Denizli, Dubai–International, Istanbul, İzmir, Najaf, Yerevan
Iran Aseman Airlines Istanbul, İzmir, Najaf, Tbilisi
Iraqi Airways Baghdad, Najaf, Nasiriyah
Kish Air Aktau, Almaty, Gazipaşa, Najaf
Kuwait Airways Kuwait City
Lufthansa Frankfurt
Mahan Air Ankara, Bangkok–Suvarnabhumi, Beijing–Capital, Belgrade, Delhi, Dubai–International, Erbil, Guangzhou, Istanbul, Kuala Lumpur–International, Lahore, Moscow–Vnukovo, Shanghai–Pudong, Shenzhen, Sulaimaniyah, Varna
Meraj Airlines Dalaman, Denizli, Istanbul, Najaf
Nordwind Airlines Moscow–Sheremetyevo
Oman Air Muscat
Pegasus Airlines Adana, Ankara, Gazipaşa, Istanbul–Sabiha Gökçen
Qatar Airways Doha
Qeshm Air Almaty, Baghdad, Batumi, Dubai–International, Isparta, Istanbul, Muscat, Najaf, Sulaimaniyah, Tbilisi, Varna, Yerevan
Salam Air Muscat
Sepehran Airlines Najaf
Syrian Air Damascus
Taban Air Baghdad, Muscat, Najaf, Tbilisi
Turkish Airlines Adana, Ankara, Istanbul, Istanbul–Sabiha Gökçen, İzmir
Varesh Airlines Najaf, Tbilisi
Zagros Airlines Najaf, Tashkent, Tbilisi


Lufthansa Cargo[8] Frankfurt
Qatar Airways Cargo[9] Doha


In 2013, the airport handled 4.756 million passengers, a 20% increase over the previous year. This made it the eleventh busiest airport by international passenger traffic in the Middle East. The airport handled 98,904 tonnes of cargo in 2013. The total number of commercial aircraft movements was 36,827 in 2013.[10]

Annual traffic[edit]

Year[11] AnnualPassenger Traffic % Change
2011 5,020,836 Steady
2012 4,735,089 Decrease 6%
2013 4,756,012 Increase 0.4%
2014 6,049,062 Increase 27%
2015 7,243,120 Increase 20%
2016 7,821,369 Increase 8%
2017 8,852,232 Increase 13%
2018 6,632.493 Decrease 22%
2019 5,985,954 Decrease 11%
2020 1,009,678 Decrease 87%
2021 2,018,748 Increase 99%

Ground transportation[edit]


The airport is served by the Imam Khomeini International Airport Metro Station. The metro connection for IKIA was opened on 7 August 2017, as a station on the new branch of Tehran Metro Line 1. Passengers must change trains at Shahed - Bagher Shahr Metro Station to access the rest of Line 1. There are provisions for a second station serving the planned Iranshahr Terminal (Terminal 3) in the future.

High-speed rail[edit]

The airport is planned to be served by the Tehran-Qom-Isfahan High Speed Rail. The new link will enable direct rail access from the cities of Qom and Isfahan and a fast non-stop connection to Tehran Railway Station. The line is currently in early planning and construction phase.


Imam Khomeini International Airport is accessible from Tehran by car, taxi and shuttle buses via Tehran-Qom and Tehran-Saveh freeways. Airport-operated taxis serve arriving passenger 24/7. In 2017, a typical taxi journey from the airport to the center of Tehran takes around 45 minutes which costs about 1,400,000 to 1,800,000 to Iranian rial or US$7 and are often light yellow Toyota Camry, Toyota RAV4, Volkswagen Caddy or IKCO Samand.[12]

Accidents and incidents[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Traffic Figures". Retrieved 14 February 2018.
  2. ^ "Imam Khomeini International Airport (IKA)". World Airport Codes. Retrieved 1 June 2015.
  3. ^ a b c "Update on the New IKIA Terminals, Air Astana Started Tehran Flights - Aviation Iran". 30 June 2016.
  4. ^ Vosler, Kent D. (1983). "Diving: Diving strength program at the University of Florida". National Strength & Conditioning Association Journal. 5 (6): 27. doi:10.1519/0744-0049(1983)005<0027:dspatu>;2. ISSN 0744-0049.
  5. ^ "ILS Launched At Imam Khomeini Airport". Archived from the original on 21 August 2009.
  6. ^ "foreign hotels opening in Iran - Google Search".
  7. ^ @LAConviasa (22 May 2022). "#22May ¡TEHERÁN PRÓXIMO DESTINO CONVIASA! Esta ruta operará cada 15 días y ya está disponible para la compra en nuestra página web aprovecha la tarifa especial de inauguración y compra tu boleto en la ruta Caracas-Teherán" (Tweet) (in Spanish) – via Twitter.
  8. ^ - Routes & flight schedules retrieved 6 September 2020
  9. ^ "Qatar Airways Cargo". Retrieved 2 September 2020.
  10. ^ "(IKA) Imam Khomeini International Airport". Retrieved 1 June 2015.
  11. ^ IAC. "Iran Airports Company - Home".
  12. ^
  13. ^ "Iranian Airliner Crashes in Northwest, Killing 168". Bloomberg L.P. Retrieved 15 July 2009.
  14. ^ "Iran Says It Unintentionally Shot Down Ukrainian Airliner". New York Times. 10 January 2020. Retrieved 10 January 2020.
  15. ^ "Ukrainian airplane with 180 aboard crashes in Iran: Fars". Reuters. 7 January 2020. Retrieved 8 January 2020.
  16. ^ "Ukrainian airliner crashes near Tehran: Iranian media". Al Jazeera. 8 January 2020. Retrieved 8 January 2020.

External links[edit]

Media related to Imam Khomeini International Airport at Wikimedia Commons