Tehran Imam Khomeini International Airport
International Airport (IKIA)
فرودگاه بینالمللی امام خمینی (ره) امام خمینی
|IATA: IKA – ICAO: OIIE|
|Owner||Iran Airports Company|
|Operator||Iran Civil Aviation Organization|
|Opened||8 May 2004|
|Focus city for|
|Time zone||IRST (UTC+3:30)|
|• Summer (DST)||IRDT (UTC+04:30)|
|Elevation AMSL||3,305 ft / 1,007 m|
Tehran Imam Khomeini International Airport (Persian: فرودگاه بینالمللی امام خمینی) (IATA: IKA, ICAO: OIIE), also known as Tehran-IKIA or IKIA, 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 intended to replace Mehrabad International Airport, which is in the west of the city. The airport was originally named Ahmadabad but was later renamed to Imam Khomeini International Airport.
The airport, operated by the Iran Airports Company, is the home base of Iran Air, Meraj Airlines, Mahan Air, Iran Aseman Airlines, Qeshm Airlines, Taban Air, and Zagros Airlines. As of June 2016, Imam Khomeini International Airport serves 47 passenger airlines, 7 charter airlines and 6 cargo airlines operating over 850 of weekly flights connecting Tehran to cities in over 40 countries and territories worldwide.
- 1 History
- 2 Operations
- 3 Terminals
- 4 Airlines and destinations
- 5 Ground transportation
- 6 Accidents and incidents
- 7 See also
- 8 References
- 9 External links
Construction and inauguration
Construction of the airport began prior to the Iranian revolution of 1979. The original designers were Tippetts-Abbett-McCarthy-Stratton (TAMS), a consortium of US designers. A local joint venture was formed between TAMS and Abdol Aziz Farmanfarmaian Associates called TAMS-AFFA, to carry out the full design and supervision of construction.
Following 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 Co., to carry out and manage the construction. After two years this contract was abandoned and was awarded to a bonyad, the Mostazafan Foundation.
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 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 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."
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 belongs to special organizations like Oil ministry or Armed Forces.
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). 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.
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.
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 did not function correctly and was switched off.
The French firm ADPI, subsidiary of the Aéroports de Paris Group has completed preparation of a master plan development study, with a second and third phase of development offering total of 32 and 50 million annual passengers throughput capacity.
Many European and Asian airlines including Air Asia X, Air Astana, Air France, British Airways, China Southern Airlines, Lufthansa,KLM, Korean Air, Thai AirAsia X and Uzbekistan Airways announced in 2015 and 16 to be resuming or increasing their flights and also opening new routes to Tehran after sanctions lifted in mid January 2016.
For the first time since the Iranian revolution, international hotels have opened outlets in the country, with the French corporation AccorHotels opening its Novotel and Ibis subsidiaries at the airport in October 2015.
IKIA's first active (and as of July 2016, its only operational) terminal has a total annual handling capacity of 6.5 million passengers and 120,000 tonnes of cargo. In 2015, it handled over 7 million passengers, and it is expected to handle 8 million in 2016. 
Salam Terminal (Terminal 2)
The second terminal, called the Salam Terminal, is currently under construction, with a capacity of 5 million passengers per year. It was meant to be opened in June 2016, but financing issues led to its opening being delayed until May 2017. While originally intended as a dedicated pilgrimage terminal, according to Iran's Minister of Roads and Transportation Abbas Akhoundi, it will be open to all varieties of flights. 
Iranshahr Terminal (Terminal 3)
The third terminal, called the Iranshahr Terminal, is set to open in 2-3 years. It is currently in its planning phase, with the development contract awarded to the Dutch engineering firm Netherlands Airport Consultants (NACO).  It will have an expected capacity of 20 million passengers per year, bringing the airport's total passenger capacity to 30 million passengers per year. Once opened, the current Terminal 1 will be used for domestic flights only. 
Airlines and destinations
|Bulgarian Air Charter||Seasonal: Varna|
|Iran Aseman Airlines||Seasonal: Isparta, Izmir, Varna|
|Mahan Air||Seasonal: Antalya, Bucharest, Burgas, Colombo, Goa, Konya, Larnaca, Mauritius, Medina, Najaf, Sochi, Varna|
|Nouvelair||Seasonal: Enfidha, Monastir, Tunis|
|Qeshm Airlines||Seasonal: Belgrade, Bucharest, Isparta, Konya, Larnaca, Sochi, St Petersburg, Varna, Zagreb|
|Wings of Lebanon||Seasonal: Beirut|
|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–International, 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||Hanoi, Istanbul-Atatürk, Karachi||Cargo B|
|Qatar Airways Cargo||Doha, Hong Kong||Cargo B|
|Silk Way Airlines||Baku||Cargo B|
|Silk Way West Airlines||Baku||Cargo B|
|Uzbekistan Airways Cargo||Navoi||Cargo B|
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. There are also plans to have Line 3 of the Tehran Metro reach its southern terminus at IKA in the future.
Accidents and incidents
- On 15 December 2007, an Airbus A330-200 belonging to KLM arriving from Amsterdam Airport Schiphol collided with a Lufthansa Airbus A340-300 bound for Frankfurt International Airport. The accident, which took place at 3:00 IRST, caused no casualties but led to the cancellation of the Lufthansa flight. The aircraft was coming to a stop in front of a passenger boarding bridge when it collided with the wing of the Lufthansa Airbus A340 that was taxiing towards the runway. It was reported that the planes did not sustain severe damage.
- On 15 July 2009, Caspian Airlines Flight 7908, a Tupolev Tu-154 bound for Yerevan, Armenia crashed into a field in the village of Farsiyan in Qazvin province (north-western Iran), 16 minutes after take-off from Imam Khomeini Airport. All 168 passengers and crew were killed.
- On 24 December 2015, A Mahan Air Airbus A310-300, registration EP-MNP performing flight W5-112 from Imam Khomeini International Airport to Istanbul Atatürk Airport with 166 people on board, had safely landed on Atatürk Airport's runway 05 and taxied to the apron, stand S6, but failed to stop on the stand, about 30 meters past the stand broke through a concrete barrier topped by a railing causing the nose gear to collapse, the nose fell onto the roof of a bus driving along the road underneath. No injuries occurred.
- Iran Civil Aviation Organization
- Transport in Iran
- List of airports in Iran
- List of the busiest airports in Iran
- List of airlines of Iran
- Iranian Airports Company (Feb 2016). International Traffic Report (PDF) (Report). گروه آمار و اطلاعات هوانوردی و فرودگاهی. Retrieved February 18, 2016.
- "Imam Khomeini International Airport (IKA)". Retrieved 1 June 2015.
- "Economist Intelligence Unit". 18 August 2008.
- Reuters. "Iran and UK in row over airport". CNN, 1 May 2005. Retrieved 13 June 2009.
- "Iran's new airport in safety fear". BBC News, 3 May 2005. Retrieved 13 June 2009.
- 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.
- "(IKA) Imam Khomeini International Airport". Retrieved 1 June 2015.
-  Archived 21 August 2009 at the Wayback Machine.
- http://www.routesonline.com/news/38/airlineroute/253157/china-southern-increases-tehran-flights-from-april-2016/?highlight=china southern airlines
- "Lifting of sanctions to spur Iran travel. Turkish Airlines & Gulf carriers have large presence". CAPA - Centre for Aviation. 3 September 2015. Retrieved 2 January 2016.
- "Air France to resume direct Paris-Tehran flights". Radio France Internationale. 8 December 2015. Retrieved 2 January 2016.
- International hotel chains opening in Iran at Imam Khomeini Airport
- http://www.aviationiran.com/2016/06/30/update-on-the-new-ikia-terminals-air-astana-started-tehran-flights/. Missing or empty
- http://www.presstv.com/Detail/2015/09/27/430954/iran-transport-ikia-airport-french-companies. Missing or empty
- "British Airways Delays Tehran Resumption to Sep 2016". routesonline. Retrieved 22 June 2016.
- "KLM Files Tehran Preliminary Schedule from October 2016". routesonline. Retrieved 10 June 2016.
- "Lufthansa, KLM planes collide at IKIA". Press TV. Retrieved 5 January 2008.
- "Iranian Airliner Crashes in Northwest, Killing 168". Bloomberg L.P. Retrieved 15 July 2009.
- "Monthly flight plan" (in Persian). Imam Khomenini International Airport official website. Archived from the original on 30 July 2007. Retrieved 16 January 2007.
- Airport information for OIIE at World Aero Data. Data current as of October 2006.Source: DAFIF.
Media related to Imam Khomeini International Airport at Wikimedia Commons