EghtesadOnline: The first development phase of Imam Khomeini Airport City was delineated in a press conference themed "Investment Opportunities in Imam Khomeini Free Trade Zone and Special Economic Zone" on Sunday.
Speaking to Financial Tribune, Managing Director of IKAC Shahram Adamnejad explained that the first phase of the city, located near the Imam Khomeini International Airport, covers 240 hectares designated as free trade zone.
The so-called "Business Area" is located southeast of IKAC. It will be divided into four parts: Office, Business Area and Cyber City (40 hectares), Creative, Cultural and Artistic Industries Area (7.4 hectares), High-Tech Area (28.2 hectares), and Logistics Area (87 hectares), with the remaining 77 hectares designated as shared property.
“Some 2.5 trillion rials ($59.52 million) have been invested for the development of infrastructures and facilities in these four areas, which will take 18 months to complete,” Financial Tribune quoted Adamnejad as saying.
The IKAC chief noted that the types and fields of businesses to be operating in the FTZ include offices, banks, insurance centers, capital market, media city, e-city (data center), conference center, hotel, smart warehouses, multimodal transport services (air, rail and road), research and development centers, high-tech centers, business centers such as carpet city, gold, jewelry and precious stone exchange, health and cosmetics centers, international exhibitions center and creative industries and media centers.
He said the four areas will be ready for investors by the Iranian month of Khordad (starting May 22), adding that related tenders will be floated in the near future.
Adamnejad said they have entered negotiations with 40 general contractor companies for investment in IKAC and the companies may submit their ideas and plans until the end of the current Iranian month (May 21).
As reported previously by the Ministry of Roads and Urban Development, Imam Khomeini International Airport signed an agreement with Swiss-based ADI Consulting and the Netherlands Airport Consultant Company (NACO) in Tehran in 2015 to handle designing, construction and development activities at IKAC.
Companies from South Korea and the Netherlands have also been engaged to offer consultancy on airport city development.
The project to develop the area surrounding IKIA to create an airport city has been on the Roads Ministry’s agenda for the past couple of years.
Accordingly, the government-owned Imam Khomeini Airport City was established in 2015 to manage the project’s execution and supervise investment activities.
The master plan devised by NACO for IKAC 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.
To attract businesses to invest in IKIA’s Free Trade Zone, the government has introduced the following incentives: tax exemption during the first 20 years of establishment, easy registration procedure, entry and exit of cargo from the zones without complicated customs formalities, exemption from import duties on raw materials and income tax exemption for all employees.
Businesses registered in IKIA’s Special Economic Zone can also enjoy benefits like exemption from duties and value-added tax, exemption from tariffs on the import of manufacturing machinery and easy issuance of construction permits.
New Terminals to Significantly Expand Capacity
Adamnejad said Imam Khomeini International Airport’s capacity is six million passengers per year, although 10 million passengers are currently using the airport annually.
“When Salam Terminal becomes operational, the airport’s passenger capacity will increase by five million passengers. We’re expecting to open the terminal in Tir (Iranian month starting June 22)," he said.
"Iranshahr Terminal project will add a 25-million passenger capacity during its first phase of development and the capacity will reach 90 million when its final development phase is completed."
IKIA is the main international airport of Iran, located 30 kilometers southwest of the city of Tehran. 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. It is said to be the only profit-making airport in Iran.
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.
Traffic Growth Rate Above Global Average
According to the former caretaker of IKAC, Koroush Fattahi, Imam Khomeini International Airport registered a traffic growth rate of 11.5% in 2017, 3% higher than the global average.
"IKIA is ranked third in the Middle East and ninth in Asia-Pacific region in terms of airport traffic growth," he was quoted as saying at the Second International Exhibition of Transportation, Road Construction, Road Maintenance and Related Industries, otherwise known as Iran Trans Expo in December 2017.
Latest statistics show Tehran’s Imam Khomeini International Airport registered over 58,000 takeoffs and landings in 2017. A total of 10 million passengers used the airport last year.
IKIA was the third busiest airport in terms of passenger transportation with 58,436 takeoffs and landings, and close to 9 million passengers transported during the last Iranian year (March 2017-18) after Tehran’s Mehrabad International Airport and Mashhad International Airport.
As for cargo transportation, IKIA topped the list with close to 165,172 tons, followed by Mehrabad Airport with 121,000 tons and Mashhad Airport with around 95,000 tons of cargos moved.