EghtesadOnline: Imam Khomeini International Airport registered a traffic growth rate of 11.5% in 2017, 3% higher than the global average, according to the caretaker of IKIA Airport City Company.
"IKIA is ranked third in the Middle East and ninth in Asia-Pacific region in terms of airport traffic growth," Koroush Fattahi added on Sunday at the Second International Exhibition of Transportation, Road Construction, Road Maintenance and Related Industries, otherwise known as Iran Trans Expo 2017, IRNA reported.
"When IKIA’s Salam Terminal, whose construction is 60% complete, becomes operational, 50 million more passengers will be added to the airport's capacity," he said.
Located 30 kilometers southwest of Tehran, IKIA is said to be the only profit-making airport in Iran. It hosted over 300 daily flights, which transferred some 8 million domestic and foreign passengers in 2016. This constitutes over 70% of international flights in Iran, according to Financial Tribune.
The airport features one passenger terminal, two parallel runways and several logistics and maintenance facilities.
Operated by Iran Airports Company, it is one of the home bases of Iran Air, Meraj Airlines, Mahan Air, Iran Aseman Airlines, Qeshm Airlines, Taban Air and Zagros Airlines.
The project to develop the area surrounding IKIA to create an airport city has been on the Ministry of Roads and Urban Development’s agenda for the past couple of years.
Accordingly, the government-owned IKIA Airport City Company was established in 2015 to manage the project’s execution and supervise investment activities. Through this entity, the government negotiated a joint-venture with French construction firm Bouygues and French airports operator Aeroports de Paris to build a new passenger terminal in a $2.8 billion deal that would increase airport capacity to 20 million passengers per annum in the first phase.
Companies from South Korea and the Netherlands have also been engaged to offer consultancy on airport city development.
“According to a master plan devised by Netherlands Airport Consultants (NACO) for IKIA Airport City Company, the airport’s passenger capacity is to increase to 30 million per year within the next five years from the current 7 million,” the airport’s managing director, Mahmoud Navidi, said.
The master plan for the IKIA Airport City includes creating a 1,500-hectare free trade zone and a 2,500-hectare special economic zone in a 13,700-hectare area surrounding IKIA.
The plan also aims to establish 25 commercial facilities encompassing a wide range of commercial activities, including manufacturing, telecommunications and logistics, hotels, retail outlets, entertainment complexes and exhibition centers, in a 400-hectare area in the vicinity of the airport.
Alongside the IKIA Airport City project, the simultaneous completion of four development phases of IKIA is underway to increase annual passenger capacity to 90 million.
“The construction project of IKIA’s Salam Terminal has been handed over to the Islamic Revolution Mostazafan Foundation and needs 5,000 billion rials ($125 million). It will hopefully become operational in a year,” Navidi said earlier this year.
The IKIA chief noted that NACO has issued a call, inviting investors for the construction of Iranshahr Terminal that will have the capacity of serving 60 million passengers a year.
“The first phase of the project will serve up to 25 million people and requires an estimated $1 billion,” he said.
IAC Latest Stats
Iran Airports Company’s latest data show a total of 39,209 takeoffs and landings were registered in the Iranian month ending Nov. 22, which shows a 15% rise compared with last year’s corresponding period.
About 4.8 million passengers and 43,561 tons of cargo were transported during the period, indicating a 13% and 12% year-on-year growth respectively, IAC reported on its website.
As for domestic flights, 31,424 takeoffs and landings were registered, up 15% YOY.
More than 3.70 million passengers and 26,074 tons of goods were transported domestically, indicating a 13% and 15% rise respectively over the last year’s same period.
On the international front, about 7,785 takeoffs and landings were registered, increasing 13% YOY.
A total of 1.09 million passengers and 17,486 tons of cargo were transported to and from overseas destinations, posting a 17% and 8% increase respectively YOY.
Tehran’s Mehrabad International Airport was the busiest domestic airport during the period, followed by Mashhad International Airport and IKIA.