Over 40 million passengers arrive at Istanbul Airport

Istanbul Airport

The new Istanbul Airport opened its first phase on 29 October 2018, which coincided with the 95th anniversary of the founding of the Turkish Republic.

According to Minister Turhan, on the first anniversary the airport welcomed 9.87 million domestic flight passengers and a further 30.6 million international flight passengers since first being opened.

The new airport in Istanbul is enormous and Turkey is planning to make this the largest airport in the world. The first phase fully opened in April and the airport then took over the air traffic from Ataturk Airport, which has since closed. All equipment from Ataturk Airport was taken to Istanbul Airport in the greatest logistical move in civil aviation history.

How is Istanbul Airport faring?

The new Istanbul Airport is situated 30km to the north shores of the Black Sea and has welcomed 252,795 planes. Turhan went on to say that there have been 63,856 domestic flights and 188,939 international flights.

Turhan also clarified that on average there were 49,051 domestic flight passengers and 152,558 international passengers welcomed into the airport on a daily basis. The minister continued to say that: “Some 310 planes on domestic flights and 932 planes on international flights land and take off on average on a daily basis.”

What is the capacity of Istanbul Airport?

Istanbul Airport will be able to serve 90 million passengers a year in this first phase. Although this is a very high number, it is nowhere near the capacity of 200 million that is the expected figure when all phases of the airport are completed. When the airport is functioning to its full capacity it will be the biggest airport worldwide as far as passenger numbers are concerned. The entire four phases of the airport are due to be completed by 2028. It will offer six runways and will be a global aviation hub that will be able to host over 100 airlines and flights to over 300 destinations worldwide.

Further airport construction

Minister Turhan explained that construction of the third runway is continuing in speed, with the excavation and engineering fillings already completed on the south side of the runway. In the northern area the ground is weaker, but excavations and engineering fillings are still continuing.

Turhan explained that: “Parallel to these works, asphalt pavement manufacturing countries at the second binder level starting from the south side of the runway where the filling operations are completed.” Turhan went on to say: “We plan to finish the third north side runway in June next year. The construction of a Regional Air Traffic Control Center, an Air Traffic Control Tower and Airport Rescue and Fire Fighting (ARFF) Building will be completed in coordination with the third runway.”

The Third Runway

Turhan continued by explaining that the third parallel runway is nearing completion. The runway stands on 76.5 million square metres and is between the regions of Akpinar and Yenikoy on the coast of the Black Sea.

The third runway is expected to begin welcoming passengers in the summer of 2020. This Triple Parallel Runway Operation is only available and used in a few airports worldwide. In this second phase there will also be an east-west runway complete with parallel taxiway built.

Second Terminal Building

The second terminal building takes up about 450,000 square metres and is set to open when passenger numbers hit 80 million and, in this process, an additional parallel runway with parallel taxiways plus an additional apron will be used.

Once passenger numbers reach 110 million there is a 170,000 square metre satellite terminal that will become operational when the fourth phase of the airport is completed.

An Environmentally friendly airport

Turhan was quick to explain that the new airport has been built as an environmentally friendly, accessible green airport which generates its own energy. He continued to say: “Istanbul Airport will contribute not only to the development of the aviation sector but also to the development of the Turkish economy both through the investments it activates, as well as the additional employment opportunities it creates.”

Turhan added that Istanbul Airport is the most ambitious and largest attraction of public – private projects and will be one of the leading airports worldwide for a long time with regards to the number of passengers it will be able to serve once it is completely finished.


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