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Tehran Imam Khomeini International Airport

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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. Along with Mehrabad International Airport, it is one of the two major commercial airports serving Tehran and the busiest international air passenger gateway to Iran. As of December 2016, it serves international destinations in Asia, Africa and Europe. All domestic flights in Tehran are currently served by Mehrabad Airport.

Imam Khomeini
International Airport (IKIA)

(فرودگاه بین‌المللی امام خمینی (ره
IKIA Logo 1.png
Tehran IKIA at Night.jpg
Airport type Public
Owner Iran Airports Company
Operator Iran Civil Aviation Organization
Serves Tehran metropolitan area
Location Ahmadabad, Tehran, Iran
Opened 8 May 2004
Hub for
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
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 (2016)
Aircraft Movements 53,359 Increase 5.8%
Passengers 7,821,369 Increase 8.0%
Cargo (t) 148,020 Increase 9.5%

The airport features one passenger terminal, two parallel runways and several logistics and maintenance facilities. Operated by the Iran Airports Company, it's one of the home bases of Iran Air, Meraj Airlines, Mahan Air, Iran Aseman Airlines, Qeshm Airlines, Taban Air, and Zagros Airlines.



Early planningEdit

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, 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.[3]

Initial openingEdit

Iran Air Airbus A300, being refuelled at Imam Khomeini International Airport.

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."

Second openingEdit

Mahan Air Airbus A340 parked at IKIA.

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]

Final openingEdit

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. In 2016, as a result of worsening ties between Saudi Arabia and Iran, all Hajj flights from Iran were terminated, rendering IKA the only international gateway to Tehran.[5]



The Emirates Airbus A380 saluted by traditional water cannon ceremony In Imam Khomeini Int'l Airport, Tehran 2014

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.[6]

Post-nuclear sanctions boomEdit

Subsequent to the lifting of nuclear-related sanctions in mid January 2016, Air France resumed flights to the Iranian capital after having suspended them in 2008. On 17 April 2016,[7] Air Asia resume Tehran services by offering direct flights from Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok to Tehran after having suspended them in 2012.

Furthermore, various other airlines including Austrian, Alitalia, British Airways[8], KLM, China Southern Airlines[9] and Thai Airways[10] have either resumed or ramped up frequency of their flights to Tehran.


Passenger TerminalsEdit

Terminal 1Edit

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.[11]

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.[11]

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.[11] 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.[12]


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 but malfunctioned and was indefinitely switched off.[13] 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.[14] The two hotels are connected to the main passenger terminal by a sky bridge passing through the airport metro station.

Airlines and destinationsEdit


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 (ends 29 March 2018)[15]
Alitalia Rome–Fiumicino
Al-Naser Airlines Charter: Baghdad
Armenia Aircompany Yerevan
ATA Airlines Baku, Denizli, Izmir, Tbilisi, Istanbul–Atatürk, Najaf
AtlasGlobal Istanbul–Atatürk
Seasonal: Adana, Antalya, Izmir
Austrian Airlines Vienna
Azerbaijan Airlines
operated by Buta Airways
Belavia Minsk
Borajet Charter: Adana, Antalya
British Airways London–Heathrow
Bul Air Seasonal: Varna
Caspian Airlines Dubai–International, Najaf
Cham Wings Damascus
China Southern Airlines Ürümqi
Corendon Airlines Charter: Antalya, Kayseri
Emirates Dubai–International
Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi
flydubai Dubai–International
Freebird Airlines Charter: Adana, Antalya, Istanbul–Atatürk, Izmir
Georgian Airways Tbilisi
Seasonal: Batumi
Germania Berlin–Schönefeld
Ikar Charter: Moscow–Sheremetyevo
Iran Air Amsterdam, Ankara, Baghdad, Beirut, Cologne/Bonn, Dubai–International, Frankfurt, Gothenburg–Landvetter, Hamburg, Istanbul–Atatürk, Karachi, London–Heathrow, Milan–Malpensa, Mumbai, Moscow–Sheremetyevo, Najaf, Paris-Charles de Gaulle (begins 27 March 2018),[17] Paris–Orly (ends 26 March 2018),[17] Rome–Fiumicino, Stockholm–Arlanda, Vienna
Seasonal: Jeddah, Medina
Iran Aseman Airlines Baghdad, Dubai–International, Istanbul–Atatürk, Najaf (suspended) , Yerevan
Seasonal: Isparta, Izmir, Moscow–Vnukovo, Saint Petersburg, Tbilisi[18]
Iraqi Airways Baghdad, Najaf, Nasiriyah
Joon Paris–Charles de Gaulle (begins 2 April 2018)[15]
Kam Air Kabul, Mazar-e Sharif
Kish Air Denizli, Islamabad, Isparta, Istanbul–Atatürk, Kiev–Boryspil[19]
Seasonal: Baku, Izmir, Najaf, Tbilisi, Yerevan
KLM Amsterdam
Kuwait Airways Kuwait City
Lufthansa Frankfurt
Mahan Air Ankara, Bangkok–Suvarnabhumi, Barcelona,[20] Baku,[21] Beijing–Capital, Beirut, Damascus, Delhi, Dubai–International, Düsseldorf, Erbil (suspended), Guangzhou, Istanbul–Atatürk, Kabul, Kuala Lumpur–International, Lahore (begins 18 December 2017),[22] Milan–Malpensa, Moscow–Vnukovo,[23] Munich, Najaf, Paris–Charles de Gaulle, Shanghai–Pudong, Yerevan
Seasonal: Athens, Colombo, Goa, Izmir, Mauritius, Saint Petersburg, Sochi, Varna
Seasonal charter: Casablanca, Denpasar, Denizli, Isparta, Konya, Larnaca, Marrakesh, Phuket
Meraj Airlines Istanbul–Atatürk, Izmir, Najaf,
Charter: Delhi, Isparta, Konya
Nordwind Airlines Charter: Moscow–Sheremetyevo, Saint Petersburg
Nouvelair Charter: Tunis
Oman Air Muscat
Onur Air Seasonal charter: Adana, Antalya
Pegasus Airlines Istanbul–Sabiha Gökçen
Seasonal: Adana
Qatar Airways Doha
Qeshm Airlines Baghdad, Brussels,[24][25] Dubai–International, Istanbul–Atatürk, Najaf, Sulaimaniyah (suspended)
Seasonal: Denizli, Isparta, Izmir, Moscow–Sheremetyevo, Varna
Seasonal charter: Batumi, Belgrade, Bucharest, Jeddah, Larnaca, Medina, Saint Petersburg, Sochi, Tbilisi, Yerevan, Zagreb
S7 Airlines Seasonal: Moscow–Domodedovo[26]
Sun Express Seasonal: Adana, Antalya, Izmir
Taban Air Baghdad, Istanbul–Atatürk, Najaf, Tbilisi
Seasonal: Batumi, Izmir, Moscow–Sheremetyevo[27]
Seasonal charter: Saint Petersburg
Tajik Air Dushanbe
Tailwind Airlines Charter: Adana, Antalya
Thai Airways Bangkok–Suvarnabhumi
Turkish Airlines Istanbul–Atatürk, Istanbul–Sabiha Gökçen
Seasonal: Ankara, Izmir
Turkish Airlines
operated by AnadoluJet
Charter: Ankara, Izmir
Ukraine International Airlines Kiev–Boryspil
Bravo Airways Charter: Kiev–Boryspil
Wings of Lebanon Charter: Beirut
Zagros Airlines Baghdad, Izmir, Najaf, Istanbul, Tbilisi, Yerevan
Seasonal: Isparta


Airlines Destinations
AeroLogic Frankfurt
Fars Air Qeshm Damascus, Dubai-Al Maktoum
Iran Air Cargo Doha, Dubai–Al Maktoum
Lufthansa Cargo Frankfurt, Maastricht
Silk Way Airlines Baku
Turkish Airlines Cargo Hanoi, Istanbul–Atatürk, Karachi
Qatar Airways Cargo Doha, Hong Kong

Ground transportationEdit


The airport is served by the Imam Khomeini Airport Metro Station. The metro connection for IKIA was opened on 7 August 2017, as a station on the new Tehran Metro Line 8, which is an extension of Tehran Metro Line 1. There are provisions for a second station serving the planned Iranshahr Terminal (Terminal 3) in the future.

Line 8 is the first 24/7 operational metro line in Tehran, serving mid-night passengers from Darvazeh Dowlat Metro Station to the Imam Khomeini Airport Metro Station. To arrive at Line 8, Line 1 passengers must transit from Shahed Metro Station to Shahr-e Aftab Metro Station, then, at Shahr-e Aftab Metro Station, passengers must board a Line 8 train.

At present, departures from IKIA to Shahr-e Aftab Metro Station are limited to 06:40, 08:00, 09:20, 10:40, 12:00 and 13:20 only. The duration of the journey between the two station is approximately 35 minutes. At Shahr-e-Aftab, passengers can change for Line 1 for journeys to on to Central Tehran. The price of the ticket is same as other lines in Tehran, between 3600IRR-8000IRR (US$0.10-0.30) (see Tickets & Fares).

High-speed railEdit

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 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 750,000 IRR ($20) and are often light yellow Toyota Camry, Toyota RAV4, Volkswagen Caddy or IKCO Samand. [28].

Accidents and incidentEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Traffic Figures". Retrieved 22 February 2017. 
  2. ^ Name
  3. ^ "Imam Khomeini International Airport (IKA)". Retrieved 1 June 2015. 
  4. ^ "Economist Intelligence Unit". 18 August 2008. 
  5. ^
  6. ^ "(IKA) Imam Khomeini International Airport". Retrieved 1 June 2015. 
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^ southern airlines
  10. ^ Liu, Jim. "Thai Airways adds Tehran service from Oct 2016". Routesonline. Retrieved 3 August 2016. 
  11. ^ a b c  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  12. ^  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  13. ^ [1] Archived 21 August 2009 at the Wayback Machine.
  14. ^ International hotel chains opening in Iran at Imam Khomeini Airport
  15. ^ a b Air France has launched Joon, the low-cost airline
  16. ^
  17. ^ a b
  18. ^ "Iran Aseman Airlines Launches Regular Tehran-Tbilisi Flights • Tabula". Tabula. 7 June 2017. Retrieved 8 June 2017. 
  19. ^
  20. ^ "Tehran – Barcelona Service Starts in June 2017". Aviation Iran. Retrieved 8 March 2017. 
  21. ^ Liu, Jim. "Mahan Air schedules Baku launch in Feb 2017". 
  22. ^
  23. ^ Liu, Jim (21 March 2017). "Mahan Air boosts Moscow flights from June 2017". Routesonline. Retrieved 21 March 2017. 
  24. ^
  25. ^
  26. ^ Liu, Jim (22 June 2017). "S7 Airlines reduces planned Moscow – Tehran service in S17". Routesonline. 
  27. ^
  28. ^ [2]
  29. ^ "Iranian Airliner Crashes in Northwest, Killing 168". Bloomberg L.P. Retrieved 15 July 2009. 

External linksEdit

  Media related to Imam Khomeini International Airport at Wikimedia Commons