Tehran Imam Khomeini International Airport

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Imam Khomeini
International Airport (IKIA)

فرودگاه بین‌المللی امام خمینی (ره) امام خمینی
IKIA Logo 1.png
Tehran IKIA at Night.jpg
Airport type Public
Owner Iran Airports Company
Operator Iran Civil Aviation Organization
Serves Tehran, Iran
Location Ahmadabad, Iran
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
Coordinates 35°24′58″N 051°09′08″E / 35.41611°N 51.15222°E / 35.41611; 51.15222
Website ikia.airport.ir
IKA is located in Iran
Location within Iran
Direction Length Surface
ft m
11L/29R 13,772 4,198 Asphalt
13,940 4,249 Asphalt
Statistics (2015)
Aircraft Movements 50,423
Passengers 7,243,120
Cargo 135,192 tons

Tehran Imam Khomeini International Airport[2] (Persian: فرودگاه بین‌المللی امام خمینی‎‎) (IATA: IKAICAO: 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 49 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.[citation needed]


Terminal 1 building
Baggage reclaim area
Iran Air Airbus A300-600R, being refuelled at Imam Khomeini International Airport.

Construction and inauguration[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.

Following the Iranian revolution, the project was abandoned until the government of Iran decided to design and build the airport using local know-how. 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.[3]

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.[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]


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.[8]

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.[9]

The French firm ADPI, subsidiary of Groupe Aéroports de Paris 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.[citation needed]

After sanctions were lifted in mid January 2016, Air France became the first European carrier to resume flights to the Iranian capital after suspending them in 2008 on 17 April 2016,[10] Air Asia X became the first South-East Asian airline to resume flights from the Malaysian capital to Tehran after suspending them in 2012 on 21 June 2016,[11] Central Asian airlines including Uzbekistan Airways[12] and Air Astana[13] started flights. Other airlines including British Airways,[14] China Southern Airlines,[15]Lufthansa,[16] and Thai AirAsia X have increased, started or resumed new routes to Tehran.

Many European and Asian airlines including KLM,[17] Korean Air[18] and Thai Airways[19] 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.[20][21]

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.[22]


Terminal 1[edit]

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.[23]

Salam Terminal (Terminal 2)[edit]

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.[23]

Iranshahr Terminal (Terminal 3)[edit]

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), a subsidiary of Royal HaskoningDHV.[23] 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.[24]

Airlines and destinations[edit]

Map of all countries served as destinations of Imam Khomeini International Airport (IKA), including planned routes.


Airlines Destinations
Aegean Airlines Athens
Aeroflot Moscow–Sheremetyevo
Air Arabia Sharjah
AirAsia X Kuala Lumpur–International
Air Astana Almaty
Air France Paris–Charles de Gaulle
Alitalia Rome–Fiumicino
Armenia Aircompany Yerevan
Ata Airlines Baku, Tbilisi
Seasonal: Batumi
AtlasGlobal Adana, Istanbul–Atatürk, Izmir
Austrian Airlines Vienna
AZALJet Baku
Belavia Minsk–National
British Airways London–Heathrow
Caspian Airlines Damascus, Dubai–International, Isparta, Najaf, Sulaimaniyah
Cham Wings Damascus
China Southern Airlines Beijing–Capital, Ürümqi
Corendon Airlines Antalya, Istanbul–Sabiha Gökçen
Emirates Dubai–International
Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi
FlyBaghdad Baghdad, Najaf
flydubai Dubai–International
Freebird Airlines Seasonal: Adana, Bursa, Gaziantep, Izmir, Alanya
Germania Berlin–Schönefeld
Iran Air Amsterdam, Ankara, Baghdad, Beijing–Capital, Beirut, Cologne/Bonn, Damascus, Dubai–International, Frankfurt, Gothenburg–Landvetter, Hamburg, Istanbul–Atatürk, Karachi, Kuala Lumpur-International, London–Heathrow, Milan–Malpensa, Mumbai, Moscow–Sheremetyevo, Paris–Orly, Rome–Fiumicino, Stockholm–Arlanda, Tashkent, Vienna
Iran Air Tours Seasonal: Adana, Doha, Dubai–International, Isparta
Iran Aseman Airlines Dubai–International, Istanbul–Atatürk, Istanbul–Sabiha Gökçen, Kabul, Mazar-i-Sharif, Sulaimaniyah, Tashkent, Yerevan
Seasonal: Moscow-Domodedovo
Iraqi Airways Baghdad, Najaf
Kam Air Kabul, Mazar-i-Sharif
Kish Air Najaf
KLM Amsterdam (resumes 23 October 2016)[25]
Kuwait Airways Kuwait City
Lufthansa Frankfurt, Munich
Mahan Air Almaty, Ankara, Athens, Bangkok–Suvarnabhumi, Beijing–Capital, Beirut, Copenhagen, Dammam, Delhi, Dubai–International, Düsseldorf, Erbil, Guangzhou, Isparta, Istanbul–Atatürk, Izmir, Kabul, Kiev–Boryspil, Kuala Lumpur–International, Kuwait, Milan–Malpensa, Moscow–Vnukovo, Munich, Paris–Charles de Gaulle, Saint Petersburg, Shanghai–Pudong, Yerevan
Meraj Airlines Ankara, Baghdad, Isparta, Istanbul–Atatürk, Istanbul–Sabiha Gökçen, Izmir, Kuwait, Moscow–Vnukovo, Najaf, Saint Petersburg, Sochi, Yerevan
Seasonal: Antalya, Dubai–International, Konya, Varna
Oman Air Muscat
Onur Air Seasonal: Adana
Pegasus Airlines Istanbul–Sabiha Gökçen
Seasonal: Adana, Alanya, Gaziantep
Qatar Airways Doha
Qeshm Airlines Baghdad, Dubai–International, Istanbul–Atatürk, Izmir, Najaf, Sulaimaniyah
Taban Air Astrakhan, Delhi, Dushanbe, Istanbul–Atatürk, Izmir, Najaf
Seasonal: Batumi, Kiev–Boryspil, Moscow-Domodedovo, St Petersburg, Tbilisi
Tailwind Airlines Seasonal: Adana, Antalya
Tajik Air Dushanbe
Thai AirAsia X Bangkok-Don Mueang
Thai Airways Bangkok–Suvarnabhumi (begins 1 October 2016)[26]
Turkish Airlines Istanbul–Atatürk, Istanbul–Sabiha Gökçen, Konya
Ukraine International Airlines Kiev–Boryspil
UM Airlines Kiev–Boryspil
Zagros Airlines Baghdad, Isparta, Izmir


Airlines 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
Qeshm Airlines Seasonal: Belgrade, Bucharest, Isparta, Konya, Larnaca, Sochi, St Petersburg, Split, Varna, Zagreb
Wings of Lebanon Seasonal: Beirut
Zagros Airlines Seasonal:Moscow-Domodedovo, Tbilisi


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–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[27] Cargo B
Silk Way West Airlines Baku[27][28] Cargo B
Uzbekistan Airways Cargo Navoi 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. There are also plans to have Line 3 of the Tehran Metro reach its southern terminus at IKA in the future.

Accidents and incidents[edit]

  • 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.[29] 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.[29]
  • 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.[30]
  • 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 casualties occurred.[31]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Iranian Airports Company (Feb 2016). International Traffic Report (PDF) (Report). گروه آمار و اطلاعات هوانوردی و فرودگاهی. Retrieved February 18, 2016. 
  2. ^ Name
  3. ^ "Imam Khomeini International Airport (IKA)". Retrieved 1 June 2015. 
  4. ^ "Economist Intelligence Unit". 18 August 2008.  |contribution= 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) Imam Khomeini International Airport". Retrieved 1 June 2015. 
  9. ^ [1] Archived 21 August 2009 at the Wayback Machine.
  10. ^ http://www.france24.com/en/20160418-air-france-plane-lands-iran-first-time-8-years
  11. ^ http://www.aviationiran.com/2016/05/12/airasia-x-resumes-tehran-flights/
  12. ^ http://www.iran-daily.com/News/140072.html
  13. ^ http://www.routesonline.com/news/38/airlineroute/254532/air-astana-delays-tehran-launch-to-late-june-2016/
  14. ^ http://www.routesonline.com/news/29/breaking-news/253154/british-airways-latest-of-several-airlines-to-add-flights-to-iran/?highlight=ika
  15. ^ http://www.routesonline.com/news/38/airlineroute/253157/china-southern-increases-tehran-flights-from-april-2016/?highlight=china southern airlines
  16. ^ airlineroute.net/2015/10/21/lh-mucika-s16/
  17. ^ http://www.routesonline.com/news/38/airlineroute/267390/klm-files-tehran-preliminary-schedule-from-october-2016/?platform=hootsuite
  18. ^ http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/nation/2016/03/116_200200.html
  19. ^ Liu, Jim. "Thai Airways adds Tehran service from Oct 2016". Routesonline. Retrieved 3 August 2016. 
  20. ^ "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.
  21. ^ "Air France to resume direct Paris-Tehran flights". Radio France Internationale. 8 December 2015. Retrieved 2 January 2016.
  22. ^ International hotel chains opening in Iran at Imam Khomeini Airport
  23. ^ a b c http://www.aviationiran.com/2016/06/30/update-on-the-new-ikia-terminals-air-astana-started-tehran-flights/.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  24. ^ http://www.presstv.com/Detail/2015/09/27/430954/iran-transport-ikia-airport-french-companies.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  25. ^ Somsen, Rob (23 August 2016). "KLM definitief naar Teheran" [KLM finally to Tehran]. Luchtvaartnieuws (in Dutch). Retrieved 23 August 2016. 
  26. ^ http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/general/1012177/thai-returning-to-tehran-and-moscow
  27. ^ a b http://www.silkwaywest.com/en/news/41/
  28. ^ https://twitter.com/aviationirancom/status/738754036376166400/photo/1?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw
  29. ^ a b "Lufthansa, KLM planes collide at IKIA". Press TV. Retrieved 5 January 2008. 
  30. ^ "Iranian Airliner Crashes in Northwest, Killing 168". Bloomberg L.P. Retrieved 15 July 2009. 
  31. ^ http://avherald.com/h?article=4914a087&opt=0

External links[edit]

Media related to Imam Khomeini International Airport at Wikimedia Commons