Iran’s plans: Seven airports, 500 new planes

Iran Air 747 maintenance 2

Iran Air 747 undergoing maintenance.

With international economic sanctions expected to be removed in 2016 as part of the nuclear deal with the West, the government of Iran is making plans to beef up its international aviation sector with seven new airports and up to 500 more passenger aircraft over the next decade, according to an announcement by Iran’s Roads and Urban Development Minister Abbas Akhoundi.

Speaking at the Iran Transportation and Urban Development Summit in Tehran on Oct. 4, Akhoundi said the government initiative will also involve upgrades and new terminal space at 27 airports around the country, plus funds totaling US$8 billion to build more airports in the Araz, Qom and Ikia regions of Iran.

While Akhoundi did not mention cargo facilities specifically, the extent of the airports and aircraft initiative will most likely add a significant amount of capacity for the Middle Eastern nation, located at a major crossroads region of the world.

The seven new airports will be in the vicinity of the capital, Tehran, and are scheduled to open by 2025, Akhoundi said. In addition, Tehran’s Imam Khomeini International Airport will undergo a massive upgrade to expand its passenger capacity from the current 6 million per year to 50 million per year over the next decade. The first part of this plan will be a second terminal to handle 5 million extra passengers per year, he said.

In an earlier August announcement from the Fars news agency, the Civil Aviation Organization of Iran said it has a 10-year, $20 billion plan to purchase about 80 to 90 new Boeing and Airbus planes per year until it reaches 500 new aircraft, to revamp its aging pax fleet. Currently, Iran’s four airlines have a about 250 aircraft combined, most of which are older Boeing, Airbus and Tupolev planes that are running short of replacement parts.

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