Istanbul New Airport: A hub for the 21st century
24 May 2016 • Author(s): Nihat Özdemir, Board Member of İGA Havalimanı İşletmesi A.Ş.
What was once just disturbed by substantial mining activities is now by far the biggest building site in Turkey. More than 13,000 people are currently working on the construction site in the district of Arnavutköy on the Black Sea coast, just 40km away from the centre of Istanbul on the European side of the city. They are striving to finish a project that will shape Turkey’s future for the better: the Istanbul New Airport. Nihat Özdemir, Board Member of İGA Havalimanı İşletmesi A.Ş., provides an overview of this significant project.
This major project has many standout features. It is one of the biggest infrastructure projects Turkey has ever seen, with an investment worth €10.3 billion. Once complete it will be the biggest air travel hub in Europe and one of the largest airports in the world, with a capacity of 90 million passengers per year at its opening in the first half of 2018, which will expand to 200 million. It will serve more than 350 international destinations and host over 150 airlines, setting standards in its architecture, its eco-friendliness and its airport technology.
Istanbul is a highly attractive destination for tourists and investors; approximately 70% travel by aeroplane. But this growth requires additional infrastructure. Turkey is growing in the aviation sector every day and the sky above Istanbul is already crowded. Additionally, the current airports are unfit to serve the latest generation wide-body aircraft and so, clearly, there is a need for improvement.
Istanbul New Airport is the highly compelling answer to these demands, especially with its advantage of Turkey’s unbeatable geographic position as a natural bridge between East and West, North and South. More than 55 capital cities are within the narrowbody flight range of Istanbul. Within three hours’ range there are 41 countries; within a four-hour range there are 53 countries – and there are 66 countries reachable in Europe, the Middle East, Central Asia, and North and East Africa within a five-hour range.