EghtesadOnline: Tehran’s Mehrabad International Airport ranked eighth from among 46 leading airports of 25 countries in the Middle East and North Africa region.
With 17.5 million travelers passing through its terminals in 2017, passenger traffic registered a 7% growth compared to the year before, Iran Airports Company reported, citing France’s Ecole Nationale de l’Aviation Civile (ENAC).
Mashhad International Airport was ranked 14th with 10.5 million passengers, 4% more than 2016, and Tehran's Imam Khomeini International Airport came in 18th with 8.85 million passengers, posting a 13% growth.
Shiraz International Airport ranked 31st with 3.5 million passengers and Ahvaz International Airport ranked 35th with 2.9 million. Passenger traffic in these two airports showed a year-on-year rise of 7% and 10%, respectively, Financial Tribune reported.
Over 142,000 takeoffs and landings were registered at Mehrabad International Airport in 2017, about 7% more than the year before, to make it the ninth busiest in MENA in terms of flight operations.
Takeoffs and landings at Mashhad International Airport stood at nearly 73,500, about 5% more than in 2016, to rank 24th in MENA region in 2017.
Tehran’s IKIA Airport and Shiraz International Airport were ranked 27th and 43rd with more than 58,000 and 33,850 takeoffs and landings, both showing a 9% increase compared with 2016.
IKIA ranked 17th in terms of cargo operations with 164,000 tons and Mehrabad was 20th with more than 120,000 tons of cargo operations. They registered an 11% and 8% rise in terms of cargo operations in 2017 year-on-year.
Mashhad and Shiraz airports saw an 8% and 7% increase in cargo operations, handling 94,000 tons and 33,000 tons of goods and parcels respectively. They ranked 23rd and 31st among top airports located in MENA.
Cargo operations at Kish International Airport stood at 32,000 tons in 2017, about 5% more compared to 2016 while the airport was ranked 32nd among MENA’s top airports.
ENAC is the only aviation-oriented university in France and in Europe, offering a wide and complete panel of aeronautics-oriented training program and activities, and serving the aeronautical world, particularly in the air transport sector.
Mehrabad Development Projects
A number of development projects worth a total of 2.7 trillion rials (about $20 million) were inaugurated at Mehrabad Airport earlier this month.
The projects, aimed at upgrading safety and service standards, included the reconstruction of a concrete runway, renovation of lighting systems, enhancement of firefighting equipment and vehicles, establishment of green areas and a new shopping center, in addition to the installation of self-checking systems in the first and second terminals.
The development projects came after seven construction and renovation projects were initiated at the airport with 700 billion rials ($5 million) of government investment in the preceding month.
Those projects included renovation of terminals and unloading areas, construction of piers for air bridge construction and installation of lights for landsides.
The airport’s Director General Mirsaeed Safinia said at the time that the seven projects would take 18 months to complete.
The renovation of terminals 1 and 2 of Mehrabad Airport is expected to become complete by the end of the next fiscal year in March 2020, says Mohammad Reza Zahmatkeshan, an official with Iran Airports Company.
IKIA: World's 3rd Fastest Growing Airport
A recent study by RoutesOnline shows Imam Khomeini International Airport is the third fastest-growing airport in the world.
Operated by Iran Airports Company, IKIA is located 30 kilometers southwest of Iran's capital city Tehran.
According to the report, the airport, which recently completed eight development projects, raised passenger numbers by 48.6% during the first half of 2018 to 3.93 million, helped by Ata Airlines upping frequencies to Istanbul Ataturk.
The research ranked all airports by passenger numbers from January-June 2018, using preliminary data provided by Sabre Market Intelligence, and then by percentage annual growth when compared with the same period in 2017. Only airports with more than 2.5 million passengers during the first half of the year were included.
The eight development projects referred to by the study were inaugurated on July 26. They included a fire department building, a security building, an iron gate, an administrative office building for Terminal 1, an eastern pier for Terminal 1, a passenger apron, a cargo apron and a visa processing area.
Imam Khomeini Airport is the largest national project of Iran. The project is definitely larger than all oil, gas and communications projects, and is one of the most influential project that could have a deep impact on Iranian people’s lives and organization of Tehran,” said former roads minister, Abbas Akhoundi, during the inaugural ceremony.
He noted that one of the most important points considered in the development of IKAC is to develop three modes of transportation, namely rail, road and air, in the airport city.
“We changed the route of Tehran-Isfahan high-speed railroad and it now meets the airport,” the minister added.
He further said another important plan is to connect IKAC with road transportation as well.
There is another major project being carried out in the south of airport city, which is Iran’s first bypass expressway with a speed limit of 130 km/h connecting Abyek in Qazvin Province to Charmshahr.
The minister believes that the development of IKAC plays a key role in the organization of Tehran and plans have been devised to relocate Tehran’s major cargo delivery point to the south of IKAC. This means 800 hectares in Tehran will be freed and prevent the daily travel of 25,000 heavy-duty vehicles in Tehran, which have a high share in traffic and air pollution.
Akhoundi has told Financial Tribune that around 90,000 square meters of apron were added to the cargo section of the airport as well as 111,000 square meters to passenger apron in the western section of the airport.
In addition, over 2,000 meters of new space were allocated for incoming and outgoing passengers for resting and transit purposes.
The minister explained that the new visa processing area makes it easy for foreign passengers to obtain visas, get insurance, pay customs duties and get accommodation in one place.
There are also more schemes to provide hardware and software systems to increase capacity and expand services to passengers.
On the sidelines of the inaugural ceremony, the minister along with other officials and reporters paid a visit to Salam Terminal to monitor the final stages of the terminal's construction.
According to Adamnejad, the terminal’s construction has made 95% progress.
“We’re trying to make the terminal ready to take passengers by the end of this summer,” he added.
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.
Plans are underway to inaugurate the terminal in summer.
Plans are underway to construct another terminal at the airport. 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 phase.
IKIA presently has a passenger capacity of around five million per year. However, in the last Iranian year (March 2017-18), the airport hosted over nine million passengers.
In an exclusive interview with Financial Tribune in June, Adamnejad said the airport’s passenger capacity will reach 120 million per year upon the completion of the two terminals.