Mehrabad International Airport

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Mehrabad International Airport

Mehrabad International Airport (Persian: فرودگاه مهرآباد) (IATA: THR, ICAO: OIII) is an airport that serves Tehran, Iran. It was the primary airport of Tehran in both international and domestic passenger traffic but has been replaced by Imam Khomeini International Airport (IKA) in most of its international flights. It is still by far the busiest airport in Iran in terms of passenger traffic and aircraft movements, handling 12,094,218 passengers in 2009. The airport is located inside the city boundaries and is thus much easier to access than IKA airport.

Training, maintenance and engineering facilities of Iran's National Carrier Iran Air, Iran Aseman Airlines, and Saha Airlines are located at this airport.

An aircraft engineering and maintenance company Fajr Ashian, has a maintenance hangar adjacent to main airport premises. The hangar is linked to Mehrabad Airport through a taxiway crossing "Tehran-Karaj" Highway. Fajr Ashian takes care of Aircraft of many companies e.g. Mahan Air, Iran Air.

The change of international flights to IKA, finished in 2004, was gradual, starting with flights to countries bordering the Persian Gulf. All international flights have now been moved to IKA except flights to Saudi Arabia for Hajj and Umrah.


The airport was first time used as an airfield for aviation club planes in 1938, then after World War II along with becoming internationally recognized by joining Iran civil aviation organization to the ICAO in 1949, the airport also became an air force base. Newly delivered Republic F-84G Thunderjets (fighter) and Lockheed T-33A Shooting Star (trainer) arrived, May 1957 and April 1956, respectively. Iranian Air Force. In 1955 just after construction of first asphalt paved runway a new terminal building (Current Terminal 1) for both international and domestic flights was designed and constructed. Among the designers of the initial modern buildings of the airport was the famous architect William Pereira.

Terminals, airlines and destinations

Mehrabad International Airport consists of six terminals, with Terminals 1, 3 and 5 only used during Haj and Umrah seasons. Most other airlines operate out of Terminals 4 and 6, except of Iran Air, Iran Air Tours and ATA Air, which are based at Terminal 2. Cargo flights are also handled at Terminal 2

Other facilities

The airport has the head offices of Iran Air and the Iran Civil Aviation Organization.

Accidents and incidents
  • On 20 April 2005, a Boeing 707-3J9C had an accident while landing in Mehrabad airport. After touchdown on runway 29L problems with the undercarriage (failure of a landing gear or tyre burst) caused the Boeing 707 to slide off the runway into the Kan River. Three passengers were killed after they fell in the river during the evacuation.
  • On 19 June 2005, a Northwest Airlines DC-10 en route from Mumbai to Amsterdam made an emergency landing at Mehrabad Airport due to an indication of a fire in the cargo hold, which turned out to be a false alarm. No American airliners had landed in Iran since the revolution. The plane left 8 hours later without incident.
  • On 6 December 2005, an Iranian Air Force C-130 Hercules crashed in Tehran shortly after taking off from the airport.
  • On 2 January 2008, an Iran Air Fokker 100 (EP-IDB) plane carrying 100 passengers skidded off the runway after part of its wing caught fire when attempting to takeoff on a domestic flight to Shiraz Airport. Its wheels were disconnected and part of its wing caught fire. No one was injured in the accident, which happened around 07:30 IRST amid heavy snowfall at the airport.
Film shot at Mehrabad Airport
  • 1965 The Poppy is also a Flower directed by Terence Young

Building Activity

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