The first phase of IKIA was completed earlier this year, giving an initial annual capacity of 12 million passengers and 200,000 tonnes of cargo. However, the airport is designed to allow for further expansion, depending on demand, and has the potential for an ultimate capacity of 40 million passengers and 700,000 tonnes of cargo a year.

The Roads & Transport Ministry, which is overseeing the project, selected France’s Aeroports de Paris in 1995 as the main consultant, with responsibilities for drawing up the masterplan, supervising procurement and installing and integrating much of the airport’s equipment and services. The airport was originally planned before the 1979 revolution in a $300 million scheme drawn up by the US’ Tippetts-Abbett-McCarthy-Stratton.

Several local contractors have been involved in the project – Kayson, a private firm, was awarded the turnkey construction contract, and Dayand Melli Sakhtemanhave been the main contractors. Further contracts awaiting completion include the supply, installation and commissioning of the air navigation aids. The UK’s Fernau Avionicswas selected for the contract earlier this year, but a timetable for the work has not yet been set, a company official told MEED in November.