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Airport Technology

An overview of the new Airport.

A new airport opened in Tehran, Iran, in February 2001. It is equipped with advanced aviation technology and is estimated to have cost almost $1 billion. Associated investment projects, carried out by either private or public enterprises, include aircraft hangars, in-flight catering, hotel, duty-free shops, fuel supply and passenger and cargo handling facilities.


This new airport will take over all domestic and international flights from the Mehrabad Airport (Tehran's other international airport). Studies carried out by the Civil Aviation Organization (CAO) of Iran recognized that the present airport could not be upgraded and expanded to meet the expected growth levels.

Airport is located in a 15 hectare area located some 30km to the south of Tehran on the Tehran-Qom highway. Work on the project began before the Islamic Revolution during the 1970s but was halted due to political circumstances. Overall responsibility for the project rests with the ministry for roads and transportation.

The new Airport has spectacular architecture.


Work on the airport started in 1994 and is due to progress in various phases. The first phase, completed by February 2001, initially gives a capacity of 12 million passengers and 200,000t of cargo a year. Depending on demand, the design allows for further expansion to 20 million passengers and 375,000t of cargo, with a final phase scheduled capacity of 40 million passengers and 700,000t of cargo.


Phase 1 included construction of a single runway of 4,200m by 45m, with 10.5m-wide shoulders. A total of 12.8km of taxiway area connects runways with passenger and cargo terminals, hangars and a 30m-wide engine test pad. The apron area is more than 450,000mē wide to accommodate a total of 24 aircraft.


The 56.9m-high control tower has an area of 1,100mē. The four-storey, glass-fronted technical block spans 6,800mē. Navigation aids include the 755 DVOR (Doppler, very-high frequency, omni-directional radio range) supplied by the UK company Fernau, the 2020 DME (distance measuring equipment) and the Normarc ILS NM 7000 instrument landing system, providing the airport with CAT III approach and landing capability.

The airport has a mixture of glass and steel in its materials.


The passenger terminal building of 78,357mē is a three-level structure comprising a basement, departure and arrival halls at ground level, as well as a mezzanine arrivals floor. 14 air bridges link the aircraft, piers and gate lounges. 1,800 car parking spaces in a two-storey car park can be reached via footbridges. Two-level access roads separate arrivals and departures. Supporting structures include administration, services, maintenance, airport police and security guard buildings, and nearly 100 residential buildings on a 10,000mē complex.


The remote location has placed considerable demands on the supply of utilities. A branch line was laid from the main gas trunk line to the east of the Qum highway, while wells were drilled for water supply. This is only sufficient for a few years of operations and the eventual aim is to transfer and treat water from Tehran's reservoirs. Tehran refinery is establishing a fuel supply through a new 250mm-diameter pipeline, 33km long. Distribution of utilities around the airport will be facilitated via a 2,850m concrete tunnel. Telecommunications contracts have been awarded and work is in progress to link the new airport to Mehrabad with around 400 communication lines, increasing to 2,000 lines in the future.


Aeroports de Paris (ADP) was responsible for the master plan and preliminary design, and is undertaking supervision of procurement, installation, commissioning and testing of airport equipment and systems, as well as co-ordination and integration. The main contractors are two Iranian companies, Dey and Melli Sakhteman. Fernau (UK) is one of the international contractors working on for the project.

Another view of the Tehran airport.

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