The President of Iran, Hassan Rouhani, has inaugurated the Salam Terminal-Gallery at Imam Khomeini Airport City (IKAC).

The opening of the terminal means that domestic flights can take off from Imam Khomeini Airport for the first time.

Built by Iranian engineers at a cost of $166.2m, the facility covers 40ha and is expected to act as a model for other new terminals.

Rouhani was quoted by the Tehran Times as saying: “The opening of this terminal is different from other economic projects, it means cooperation and unity among different sectors in completing such an important social, economic and cultural project.”

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Iran Airports Company operates the IKAC, which is situated 30km from the capital, Tehran. It is ranked third in terms of passenger traffic in Iran, after Tehran Mehrabad Airport and Mashhad Airport.

Imam Khomeini International Airport was turned into a 14,000ha airport city in accordance with article 166 of the fifth programme of national development, with the intention of ensuring that the airport plays the role of an economic engine across the country.

Iranian and international consultants prepared a 30-year vision for future developments and also commercialisation of the Imam Khomeini International Airport.

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Some of the key factors in the development of Imam Khomeini International Airport and IKAC include the increase of airport capacity to more than 60 million passengers per year, the building of a new terminal in Iranshahr, and the construction of a new traffic control tower.

Nominal capacity of the airports’ Terminal 1 is 6.5 million passengers per annum, but it handled up to 9 million passengers in 2017 due to an overload.

There are plans to increase the passenger capacity of Imam Khomeini International Airport to 60 million passengers by 2046, and to 110 million thereafter.