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Istanbul New Airport: almost halfway there

Istanbul’s third airport - known to most as Istanbul New Airport - is almost half finished.

Upon its completion in 2023, the airport, set to be the world’s largest, will serve 200 million passengers each year, who’ll fly to 350 destinations around the world.

Almost halfway there

Speaking on the third anniversary of the airport’s groundbreaking ceremony, Turkey’s Minister of Transport Ahmet said 45% of the airport is completed, and that once the first stage is completed next year, Istanbul New Airport will have the capacity to serve 90 million passengers.

The airport is set to be the largest in the world upon completion in 2023, and will serve as Turkey’s primary airport, as well as a bridge between Europe and Asia.

The heart of the silk road

Serving almost 100 airlines, Istanbul New Airport will become the airway of the Silk Road - a modern incarnation of the network of trade routes that for centuries connected the East and the West.

CEO of the Istanbul Airport Operation Huseyin Keskin said the airport would connect countries like India and China, which do not currently have direct flights to Turkey.

"We will create new opportunities for global actors based on centuries of common trade, while breathing new life into competition, not just in Turkey, but in the whole world," he said.

The airport will also be an important local hub. Over the past decade, Turkey’s airports have increased from 25 to 55 in number, and domestic travellers now top 180 million annually - an increase of 145 million. This reflects the growing Turkish middle class, who are taking more holidays than ever before.

Number crunching

  • 3,500,000 square metres - the size of the first stage construction. This is 1.7 times the size of Monaco.
  • The volume of concrete used for the main terminal is 1.4 times as much as that used for the Empire State Building.
  • 180,000 - the number of fittings in the main terminal - 24 times as many as the Eiffel Tower.
  • The terminal’s roof is 23 times the Colosseum’s surface area.
  • The completed project will have six runways, 16 taxiways and a 500 aircraft park capacity
  • The airport will accommodate 90 million annual passengers at the end of stage one next year; 150 million by the end of the second stage and 200 million passengers by 2023.
  • 10.2 billion euros - the cost of the project.
  • 100,000 - the number of jobs that created.

Read more: Istanbul New Airport captures imaginations.


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