Imam Khomeini International Airport code-named (IKA) by International Aviation Organization is one of the international airports in Tehran the capital of Iran. As the main highway of Iran’s international flights, this14,000-hectare airport is located 30 kilometers southwest of Tehran in Tehran-Qom freeway near Robat Karim and Eslamshahr cities. All international flights except for Hajj charters are served by IKA, whereas Tehran International Mehrabad Airport handles all domestic flights. Imam Khomeini International airport ranks 3rd in terms of total passenger traffic in Iran after Tehran Mehrabad Airport and Mashhad Airport is handled by the Iran Airports Company and is the primary operating base for Iran Air and Mahan Air. There are currently more than 40 international airlines operating at Imam Khomeini Airport which is hosting over 700 flights to destinations in more than 30 countries per week.
Building a modern and equipped airport was proposed by ICAO in 1967 to optimize the transit capacity between Asia and Europe. Construction of the airport which was called the Aryamehr Airport was initiated in 1977 by an American company in collaboration with a local company. The airport was planned to open by 1983 with a budget of $ 1 billion, but following the Iranian revolution, the project was abandoned. After the Iran-Iraq war ceased, the government of Iran decided to design and construct the airport using local expertise. A French airport Services Company was selected to oversee Kayson, an Iranian company of experts and designers selected for the construction project. Later the Kayson contract was canceled and transferred to Bonyad-e Mostazafanan, an Iranian charity foundation.
Following the construction of the airport’s No. 1 terminal by the Mostazafafan Foundation, the country’s civil aviation agency decided to transfer responsibility for the construction of the second terminal to TAU, a consortium consisting of two Turkish and one Austrian company. Imam Khomeini International Airport was scheduled to open on February 11th 2004 (Coinciding with the anniversary of the victory of the Islamic Revolution), but due to problems with the construction project, the event was postponed till May 8th 2004.
Finally, in April 2005, Imam Khomeini International Airport was reopened hosting 4 Iranian airlines consisting of Mahan, Aseman, Caspian, and Kish. 2 years later it was announced that all foreign flights were to be transferred to Imam Khomeini International Airport except for Damascus, Jeddah, and Medina as of 28 October 2007.
The first terminal of the airport has a capacity of 5.6 million passengers and 120,000 tons of cargo. In 2017, the terminal accommodated about 9 million passengers.
The second terminal of Imam Khomeini International Airport called Salam has a capacity of more than 5 million passengers per year. The Salam Terminal was inaugurated on 18 June 2019.
The third terminal of the airport called the Iranshahr terminal will have a capacity of 20 million passengers per year. The terminal is currently under study and is planned to be built by the Dutch company Netherlands Airport Consultants. With the opening of the Iranshahr terminal, the capacity of passengers at Imam Khomeini International Airport will add up to over 30 million passengers per year, and the first terminal will only be used for the domestic flight.
In October 2015, the French Accro Hotels Company opened two luxury hotels with Novotel and Ibis brands at Imam Khomeini International Airport.
Novotel is an elegant and luxurious 5-star hotel with 296 rooms and suites, an international restaurant, Iranian restaurant, conference halls, sports and leisure facilities and a dedicated lounge for flight crew, is considered one of the most standard hotels in Iran.
Ibis is a 4-star Hotel with 196-room in 7-floor that offers airport transfers (Mehrabad Airport to Imam Khomeini Airport and vice versa) in addition to full amenities.
It should be noted that hotel service sales counters are located in the terminal lounge, as well as online booking of these hotels. The two hotels are connected to the main passenger terminal via the overpass that runs from the airport metro station.
Imam Khomeini Airport has restaurants and Cafés with prestigious brands from all over the country. Burgerland Restaurant is located in the passenger terminal on the west side of the Transit Hall. Qeshm Airline restaurant located on the west side of the public entrance lounge serves a variety of traditional and Iranian dishes. Tehran Café is situated on the east side of Transit Hall.
Imam Khomeini Airport holds a convenient and delightful CIP lounge. The passengers who wish to use such services do not have to stand in long queues while resting in the relaxing atmosphere of CIP lounges. The company’s service representatives will provide them with various stages of boarding or leaving the airport.
Imam Khomeini Airport Metro Station is now operational. Another Metro station for the Iranshahr passenger terminal is likely to be added to Imam Khomeini Airport. Shahr-e Aftab Metro station is the main station for commuting to and from Imam Khomeini Airport with a journey time of about 35 minutes between the stations.
Taxis at Imam Khomeini Airport are round the clock at the terminal of incoming flights, serving all parts of the country. Among the benefits of these taxis are passenger insurance, fixed rates at all hours of the day, and use of standard cars.
Tehran’s Imam Khomeini International Airport is set to benefit from a High Speed Train station for the Tehran-Qom-Esfahan express train in the near future.