EghtesadOnline: Two major development projects at Imam Khomeini International Airport, namely the construction of Salam and Iranshahr terminals, will considerably expand the major Iranian airport’s capacity.
IKIA presently has a passenger capacity of around five million per year. However, the airport hosted over nine million passengers in the last fiscal year (March 2017-18).
In an exclusive interview with Financial Tribune, Shahram Adamnejad, managing director of Imam Khomeini Airport City Company, said the airport’s passenger capacity will reach 120 million per year upon the completion of the two terminals.
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, Financial Tribune reported.
Accordingly, the government-owned IKIA Airport City Company was established in 2015 to manage the project’s execution and supervise investment activities.
According to Adamnejad, Salam Terminal’s passenger capacity was first planned at 1.5 million per year but changes were made later in the airport’s design and the capacity rose to 4.5 million passengers per year.
Iranshahr Terminal’s first development phase has been designed to handle 25 million passengers per year and will reach 110 million passengers annually upon its third and final phases.
Adamnejad explained that Salam Terminal’s construction has made 85% progress and plans are underway to inaugurate the terminal in the summer. The annual hajj pilgrimage of the current fiscal year (started March 21) will be carried out through this terminal.
Millions of Muslims from across the world travel to the Saudi Arabian cities of Mecca and Medina, for the annual pilgrimage. The pilgrimage takes place from 8th to 12th (or in some cases 13th) of the last month of the Islamic calendar.
As Tasnim News Agency reported, an estimated 85,000 Iranians are expected to make the hajj pilgrimage this year.
As for Iranshahr Terminal, preliminary measures on identifying the contractor, signing the related Engineering, Procurement, Construction and Financing contract and designing the project are being carried out and plans are to break ground on the project before the end of the current fiscal year.
“The Netherlands Airport Consultant Company has been cooperating with IKIA on Salam Terminal regarding changes in design and increasing the terminal’s capacity,” Adamnejad said.
Work on Iranshahr Terminal involves cooperation with foreign companies for the design and investment.
According to Adamnejad, a total of some 6.6 trillion rials ($157.14 million) has been invested in Salam Terminal so far while Iranshahr Terminal is in need of 140 trillion rials ($3.33 billion), which is expected to be financed by foreign investors.
Adamnejad expects more than 52,000 jobs to be created within the next five years in the course of IKAC’s five-year development projects.
Alongside the development of Salam and Iranshahr terminals, Imam Khomeini Airport City Company’s other development plans include expansion of cargo terminals, airplane repair and maintenance centers, construction of a free trade zone, a special economic zone and a dry port based on a five-year plan.
IKIA’s cargo transport capacity now stands at about 150,000 tons per year, which is expected to increase to 2 million tons once the cargo terminals are developed.
“We are looking to turn Imam Khomeini Airport City into an air transport center and an economic engine for Tehran, the country and the region by facilitating air transportation and related services,” Adamnejad said.
IKAC will serve as a combined transport and logistics platform supporting IKIA.
Currently, IKIA only carries out international flights. But as the Ministry of Roads and Urban Development’s news service reported, plans are underway to transfer a portion of domestic flights to Imam Khomeini International Airport after the inauguration of Salam Terminal.
In moving passengers, IKIA was the third busiest Iranian airport in 2017 after Tehran’s Mehrabad International Airport and Mashhad International Airport, as it registered over 58,000 takeoffs and landings while transporting over 10 million passengers.
The airport registered the highest volume of freight transport in 2017, as it moved 163,000 tons of cargo.