Domestic Economy

IKIA Expansion Underway

Passenger and cargo traffic at IKIA grew by 7% and 12% respectively in the nine months of the current Iranian year (March 20-December 20, 2016) year-on-year
Over 70% of international flights in Iran are hosted by IKIA.Over 70% of international flights in Iran are hosted by IKIA.

Tehran Imam Khomeini International Airport earned 4,600 billion rials ($119 million) in revenues in the last Iranian year (ended March 20, 2016), the airport’s managing director said.

“Aviation revenues made up 72% of IKIA’s revenues and the rest was gained through non-aviation activities (13% and 15% from stores’ sales and parking fees respectively),” Mahmoud Navidi also said at a press conference on Monday.

“Aviation charges form the nucleus of Iranian airports income—about 80%”, he said, adding that non-aviation businesses are now accounting for more than 45% of world airports’ income.

He put the amount of airlines’ debt to IKIA at around 4,000 billion rials ($100 million) and said local airlines, particularly Iran Air, are the most debt-ridden companies of all.  

IKIA, which spun off from the Iran Airports Company last year, is said to be the only profit-making airport in Iran.  

Currently, IKIA offers services to 50 foreign companies as well as 10 local airlines, according to Koroush Fattahi, deputy head of the airport who was also present at the presser.  

“At IKIA, passenger and cargo traffic grew by 7% and 12% respectively in the nine months of the current Iranian year (March 20-December 20, 2016) compared with the similar period of last year,” IRNA quoted Navidi as saying. “Plans are afoot to transfer a fraction of domestic flights to IKIA by the next two years.”

Fattahi explained that the growth in IKIA passenger traffic was recorded despite diminished flights to Saudi Arabia and Turkey amid tensions with Riyadh and security threats in Turkey.

Noting that over 70% of international flights in Iran are hosted by IKIA, Fattahi said the airport operated 57,000 flights to 80 destinations during the nine-month period.  

In 2015, Imam Khomeini International Airport served 7.2 million passengers, Navidi added. 

  IKIA Airport City 

Developing the area surrounding Imam Khomeini International Airport to create an airport city has been on the Ministry of Roads and Urban Development’s agenda as part of the objectives outlined in the Fifth Five-Year Economic Development Plan (2011-16).

Accordingly, the government-owned IKIA Airport City Company was established in 2015 to manage the project’s execution and supervise investment activities.

Through this entity, the government negotiated a joint-venture with French construction firm Bouygues and French airports operator Aeroports de Paris to build a new passenger terminal in a $2.8 billion deal that would increase airport capacity to 20 million passengers per annum in the first phase. 

Companies from South Korea and the Netherlands have also been engaged in consulting on aspects of airport city development.

“According to a master plan devised by Netherlands Airport Consultants (Naco) for IKIA Airport City Company, the airport’s passenger capacity is to increase to 30 million per year within the next five years from the current 7 million,” Navidi was quoted as saying by Mehr News Agency.

The master plan for IKIA airport city includes creating a 1,500-hectare free trade zone and a 2,500-hectare special economic zone in a 13,700-hectare area surrounding IKIA. 

The plan also aims to establish 25 commercial facilities encompassing a wide range of commercial activities, including manufacturing, telecommunications and logistics, hotels, retail outlets, entertainment complexes and exhibition centers, in a 400-hectare area in the vicinity of the airport.

Parallel with the implementation of IKIA airport city project, the completion of four development phases of IKIA is underway to increase annual passenger capacity to 90 million.

“The construction project of IKIA’s Salam Terminal has been handed over to Islamic Revolution Mostazafan Foundation and needs 5,000 billion rials ($125 million) to complete and will hopefully become operational in a year,” Navidi said. 

The official noted that NACO has issued a call inviting investors for the construction of Iranshahr Terminal that will have the capacity of serving 60 million passengers a year. 

“The first phase of the project will serve up to 25 million people and requires an estimated $1 billion,” he said. 

Navidi noted that thanks to the implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action and the removal of nuclear sanctions, IKIA has seen a 30% rise in transit passengers. 

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