• Projects to involve a new terminal at Imam Khomeini International airport
  • Annual passenger capacity at airport expected to triple

A delegation from France’s ADPI is scheduled to visit Tehran soon in order to further discuss investment potential in three key airport projects, starting with the expansion of the Imam Khomeini International airport (IKIA).

The development of two other existing airports, at Mashhad and Shiraz, will also be discussed, according to local Iranian media quoting the Civil Aviation Organisation (CAO) caretaker director Mohammad Khodakharami.

The Mashhad International airport to the country’s northeast and close to the borders of Turkmenistan and Afghanistan, is understood to be the second-busiest in the country next to the Mehrabad airport in Tehran. Shiraz airport, on the other hand, is the main international airport of the Fars province in the southern region of Iran.

According to Khodakharami, his government already presented the investment potential of the three airports to top ADPI experts who visited Tehran in early August. The CAO expects ADPI to begin study of the three projects shortly and to present subsequent proposals to the relevant aviation authorities.

It is understood the discussions between ADPI and officials in Tehran began much earlier.  Local media reported last fall that IKIA, which lies 40 kilometres southwest of Tehran, is due to undergo a $2.8bn expansion. It was reported at the time that ADPI and Bouygues, also of France, had expressed interest in the project.

IKIA’s annual passenger capacity currently stands at 6 million. The original expansion plan, which entails the construction of a new terminal, envisaged bringing the capacity to 20 million passengers a year.

As well as expanding its airport facilities, Iran has an urgent requirement to revamp its airline fleets to cater to its aspirations of becoming a key player in the region’s leading air cargo and passenger transportation. It is understood the state requires up to 90 commercial planes annually within the next few years, and that it is exploring all possible funding options for this purpose including leasing, foreign loans and state funds.

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