A Chinese company is about to develop Iran’s largest international airport, Imam Khomeini International Airport (IKA). Saeid Chalandari, who serves as CEO of IKA said on August 27 that Iran will spend at least 2.5 billion euros to build a second phase at the airport under the contract signed with the Chinese company, which has not been identified, so far.
The selection followed intensive negotiations with several domestic and international contractors, Chalandari said, with the Chinese investment beating the other bidders. The business venture between Iran and China will follow a barter mechanism, wherein Tehran will be allowed to swap crude oil for financial resources, equipment and technical services.
“The executive operation for the new terminal under the second phase development operation of the airport will probably begin until late September,” said the official while speaking to reporters in a news conference.
IKA is Iran’s largest airport and is located some 25 kilometers to the southwest of the capital Tehran. The airport offers services to 29 major international airlines with flights to 64 destinations around the world.
Iran has been working to position itself as a regional hub for air travel and trade due to its strategic location between Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. In fact, IKA has been the primary airport in Iran with the potential to serve as a regional hub as it offers connections to various destinations around the world and serves as a key transit point for travelers flying between Asia and Europe. However, some of those projects and ambitions have stalled in recent years mainly because of US sanctions on the country.
Chalandari said the transportation ministry had finished feasibility studies for the development of the second phase of IKA, adding that the project will be executed across 410,000 hectares of lands located to the south of the airport.
He said IKA’a new terminal will enjoy modern equipment and infrastructure and will operate independent of the airport’s current facilities.