Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu announced that Istanbul's third airport will be opened on October 29, 2017. Davutoğlu underlined the importance of the third airport currently being constructed in Istanbul claiming it will turn Istanbul into an important hub of international aviation as well as being the biggest airport in the world.
Turkish PM who visited the construction site said that the project is of the utmost importance as it reflects the country's rising economic power and is one of the biggest projects undertaken in Turkey, both for its business volume and cost.
Davutoğlu commented that the environmental zone, tree structure and forestry area around the area will not decrease. "While 600,000 trees will be removed, 5 million will be planted in the area along with forestation work," he said. He added that as soon as the airport opens, 120,000 employment opportunities will be created and it will be the world's busiest airport with approximately 150 million passengers.
Construction at Istanbul's third airport was started in June 2014 and planned to be completed by 2018, but is now expected to be completed earlier than scheduled. The airport is located in Arnavutköy, a district in the northern part of the city's European side.
Built over an area of about 79 million square meters, the airport will considerably relax aircraft traffic on the European side of the city. Atatürk International Airport, currently the only airport on the European side, is expected to be closed in 2021 and fully replaced by the third airport. The third airport is further from central Istanbul, while Atatürk airport remains in the middle of an area of rapid urban development and works over capacity. In 20 years' time, Istanbul's airports' commercial aircraft traffic will exceed 1 million aircraft, according to a 2010 forecast by Middle East Technical University. The third airport will have a capacity of 150 million passengers per year.
The airport will have 165 passenger boarding bridges, four terminals connected with a railway system, three maintenance buildings, eight air traffic control towers, six runways, 16 taxiways, an airport hangar of 6.5 million square meters with a capacity of 500 airplanes, a parking lot with a capacity of about 70,000 vehicles and touted as the largest airport parking lot in Europe, a clinic, fire department, hotels, a convention center and recycling and waste disposal plants. The airport will be connected to the Istanbul metro and multi-lane highways will be built to facilitate access. The area where the airport is being built was chosen with consideration of ecological balance, wind data and the natural and artificial obstacles of the region.
Source: IBB, Sabah