VIDEO: Turkish President’s plane becomes first to land at Istanbul New Airport

The airport, which has been under construction for four years, is expected to open in October.

A plane carrying the freshly re-elected Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, has made history by becoming the first to touch down at Istanbul New Airport.

On June 21 the Turkish presidential aircraft TC-ANK was greeted with a water salute as it landed four months ahead of the official opening in October.

President Erdoğan was met by ground crew and workers. “Today is a very, very meaningful day for us”, he said in a statement after landing showing himself pleased about the construction of “a magnificent airport”.

İstanbul’s new airport will be one of the three biggest airports in the world with the annual capacity of 90 million passengers in the first phase, he said, adding the airport would be a brand for the country. After the launch of the new airport, İstanbul’s Atatürk Airport will be replaced by a huge park named “People’s Garden,” Erdoğan announced.

The construction of the airport, which is situated on a 76.5 million square metre site 35km north of the Istanbul city centre, will be carried out in four phases. 

In the second phase, which is expected to be completed in 2023, it is projected that the number of passengers will rise to 200 million making it the biggest airport in the world by current standards. The airport will host nearly 100 airlines flying to more than 350 destinations.

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