Good to know tourism hasn't been affected by the latest western imperial adventure in the region. I was last there in September 2001 (left on the 10th, no less). Not only was it my last flightdeck landing, but I was actually standing up (jumpseats were both occupied). Quite a ride, as you can imagine, speeding down the approach surrounded by high rise buildings. The new runway was finished but hadn't opened yet so we went right over downtown; presumably that doesn't happen so much anymore.
It sure would be nice to see some more traffic at BEY, I was staying in the hills (a town called Shemlan) which gave me the exact same view of the airport as in BA
's photo, and I only saw a couple of movements all week - but if the 80% figure is true about night time movements then maybe that goes some way to explaining why.
Apparently the PM
(the Solidere guy, can't remember his name) took quite a lot of stick for building such a big airport but I think it was the right thing to do, squeezing extra capacity out of an airport that's full is almost impossible (see: Heathrow).
fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz