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|Serves||Tehran metropolitan area|
|Location||Ahmadabad, Tehran, Iran|
|Time zone||IRST (UTC+3:30)|
|o Summer (DST)||IRDT (UTC+04:30)|
|Elevation AMSL||3,305 ft / 1,007 m|
Tehran Imam Khomeini International Airport (Persian: ? ? ? ) (IATA: IKA, ICAO: OIIE), is the primary international airport of Tehran, the capital city of Iran, located 30 kilometers southwest of Tehran, near the localities of Robat Karim and Eslamshahr and spread over an area of 13,500 hectares of land. Along with Mehrabad International Airport, Imam Khomeini Airport is one of the two international airports serving Tehran. All international flights in Tehran, with the exception of Hajj charters, are currently served by this airport, and all domestic flights are served by Mehrabad Airport. IKA ranks 3rd 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.
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.
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.
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.
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,Air Asia resumed Tehran services by offering direct flights from Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur to Tehran after having suspended them in 2012. These flights were subsequently canceled in 2017 and 2018.
Furthermore, various other airlines including Austrian, Alitalia, British Airways,KLM, China Southern Airlines and Thai Airways either resumed or ramped up frequency of their flights to Tehran. Nevertheless, some of these routes proved not profitable, resulting in the cancellation of Tehran routes by KLM, British Airways and Air France effective September 2018.
As of June 2019, IKIA has two active terminals.
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.
IKIA's second terminal, called the Salaam Terminal, has a capacity of 5 million passengers per year. It was meant to be opened in June 2016, but financing issues resulting in part from US sanctions against Iran led to its opening being delayed until June 2019.  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.
IKIA's proposed third terminal, 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. However in 2017, NACO withdrew from the contract after its failure to obtain financing due in part to US sanctions against Iran.  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. Once opened, the current Terminal 1 will be used for domestic flights only.
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. 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. The two hotels are connected to Terminal 1 by a sky bridge passing through the airport metro station.
|ATA Airlines|| Kazan, Najaf|
Charter: Batumi, Denizli, ?zmir, Tbilisi
Seasonal charter: Adana, Antalya, ?zmir
|Cham Wings Airlines||Damascus|
|China Southern Airlines||Beijing-Capital, Ürümqi|
|Corendon Airlines||Charter: Antalya, Kayseri|
|Freebird Airlines||Charter: Adana, Antalya, Istanbul, ?zmir|
|Georgian Airways||Seasonal charter: Batumi, Tbilisi|
|Iran Air|| Amsterdam, Ankara, Baghdad, Baku,Beirut, Cologne/Bonn, Dubai-International, Frankfurt, Gothenburg, Hamburg, Istanbul, Karachi, Kuwait City,London-Heathrow, Milan-Malpensa, Mumbai, Najaf, Paris-Charles de Gaulle,Rome-Fiumicino, Stockholm-Arlanda, Tbilisi,Vienna|
Seasonal: Denizli,Isparta,?zmir,Jeddah, Medina, Moscow-Sheremetyevo
|Iran Aseman Airlines|| Istanbul, Izmir,Najaf, Tbilisi, Yerevan |
Seasonal charter: Isparta, Moscow-Vnukovo
|Iraqi Airways||Baghdad, Najaf, Nasiriyah|
|Kuwait Airways||Kuwait City|
|Mahan Air|| Almaty, Ankara, Baku, Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi, Barcelona, Beijing-Capital, Caracas, Delhi, Dubai-International, Erbil, Guangzhou, Istanbul, Kabul, Kuala Lumpur-International, Lahore, Moscow-Vnukovo, Najaf, Shanghai-Pudong, Shenzhen, Sulaimaniyah, Yerevan |
Seasonal: Athens, Casablanca, Colombo-Bandaranaike, Denpasar/Bali, Denizli, Goa, Isparta, ?zmir, Larnaca, Marrakesh, Mauritius, Phuket, Saint Petersburg, Sochi, Varna
|Meraj Airlines||Seasonal charter: Baghdad, Denizli, Goa, Istanbul, Najaf|
|Nordwind Airlines||Seasonal charter: Moscow-Sheremetyevo, Saint Petersburg|
|Nouvelair||Seasonal charter: Monastir,Tunis|
|Onur Air||Seasonal charter: Adana, Antalya|
|Pegasus Airlines|| Istanbul-Sabiha Gökçen|
Seasonal charter: Adana, Antalya
|Qeshm Air|| Brussels,Hamburg,Istanbul, Najaf|
Seasonal charter: Denizli, ?zmir, Sochi, Tbilisi, Varna, Yerevan
|Syrian Air||Charter: Damascus|
|SunExpress||Charter: Adana, Antalya, ?zmir,Kayseri|
|Tailwind Airlines||Charter: Adana, Antalya|
|Turkish Airlines|| Istanbul,Istanbul-Sabiha Gökçen|
Seasonal: Ankara, ?zmir
|Fars Air Qeshm||Dubai-Al Maktoum|
|Iran Air Cargo||Doha, Dubai-Al Maktoum|
|Lufthansa Cargo||Frankfurt, Maastricht|
|Silk Way Airlines||Baku|
|Hanoi, Istanbul-Atatürk, Karachi|
|Qatar Airways Cargo||Doha, Hong Kong|
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.
|Rank||Country||City||Number of Departures||Carriers|
|1||Istanbul||+120|| AtlasGlobal, Iran Air |
Mahan Air, Pegasus Airlines, Qeshm Airlines
|2||Najaf||+80|| ATA Airlines, Iran Air, Iran Aseman Airlines|
Iraqi Airways, Mahan Air, Qeshm Airlines
|3||Dubai||+30||Emirates, Iran Air, Mahan Air|
|5||Baghdad||+15||Iran Air, Iraqi Airways, Mahan Air|
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 - Bagher Shahr 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 stations is approximately 35 minutes. At Shahr-e-Aftab, passengers can change for Line 1 for journeys to on to Central Tehran. According to the Tehran City Council, the price of a one-way ticket is 75,000 Iranian rial (less than a US Dollar) (see Tickets & Fares)
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 about 850000-900000 Iranian rial or US$10 and are often light yellow Toyota Camry, Toyota RAV4, Volkswagen Caddy or IKCO Samand.
Media related to Imam Khomeini International Airport at Wikimedia Commons