Iran’s aviation authorities expect to tender the contract for the construction of Terminal 2 at the Imam Khomeini International Airport in the second half of 2017.

It is understood that a final decision has yet to be reached in terms of the procurement option for the scheme.

Two variations of the public-private partnership (PPP) model – build, operate transfer (BOT) or build, lease, transfer (BLT) – were being considered for the project.

Based on the initial design, Terminal 2 will have an initial capacity of 25 million passengers a year. It is expected to be completed by 2022.

A new terminal on the airport, called Salam Terminal, is under construction and is expected to be completed by mid-2018. The terminal, which has a design capacity of 4 million passengers a year, was originally planned to be used for pilgrimage traffic, but will now be used for international traffic until the new Terminal 2 is completed.

Imam Khomeini International, located 45km south of Tehran’s city centre, handled 7.2 million passengers in 2015.

Iran’s busiest airport, Mehrabad International, is located in Tehran and handled 13.8 million passengers between April 2016 and January 2017.

Iran has recently obtained funding for the the expansion work at Shahid Hashemi Nejad International airport, located in the country’s second most populous city of Mashhad. The project, to be developed as a BOT, received a mandate from the French government in the past few weeks.

French contracting firm Vinci along with a local partner will undertake expansion work at Mashhad International, and for a second airport located in Isfahan.

Iran needs to expand the capacity of its airports to cater to increasing demand as international airlines resume flights into the country following the lifting of international nuclear-related sanctions in 2016.

Airlines that have resumed flights in Iran include Air France KLM, which now operates four return flights a week between Amsterdam and Tehran, and between Paris and Tehran. British Airways also began operating six direct flights a week between Heathrow airport and Tehran in September last year. Germany’s Lufthansa resumed daily direct flights between Munich and Tehran in July 2016.