Istanbul’s new airport was officially inaugurated on 29 October, on the 95th anniversary of the founding of the Turkish Republic.
“This airport, the largest in the world, shall be known as Istanbul Airport,” said Turkish President Erdoğan who inaugurated the new $11.7 billion project outside Istanbul.
Turkey’s flag carrier Turkish Airlines’ first flight from new Istanbul Airport departed on 31 October for the capital Ankara. The TK 2124 scheduled flight took off at 11.32 am local time from new Istanbul Airport to land on Ankara Esenboga Airport.
With Monday’s opening, two runways – stretching 3,750 and 4,100 meters long – went into service as part of the first phase, including three separate airstrips.
The new airport aims to establish itself as a major travel hub and a key player on the world aviation stage. Erdoğan hailed the role Istanbul has fast-assimilated as one of the leading global transfer hubs, and how Istanbul Airport would go on to make a single contribution of 4.9 per cent to Turkey’s GNP.
Following the official opening, preparation and testing will continue until end-December. After the full end-year transfer of the Turkish Airlines hub, and all other airline services, Istanbul Airport will be capable of processing 90 million passengers, later rising to provision for 200 million passengers, and upwards of 350 destinations. With the completion of all phases in 2025 Istanbul Airport will be a six-runway facility. The total project area for the airport is 76.5 million square meters. It’s supposed to have the world’s largest terminal under one roof. However, the opening will take place in phases and only limited flights will take off at first.
The airport’s tulip-shaped control tower and striking design won first prize in the “Future projects — Infrastructure” category at the 2016 World Architectural Festival in Berlin. Owing to its recycling capabilities and rainwater utilization, the new airport calls itself “green”. It also uses mobile applications and artificial intelligence for customers and boasts a high-tech security system.
Following the opening of Istanbul Airport, The New Airport Show Istanbul was launched with an aim to commemorate a mega-hub, and the resurgent Turkish aviation market. The show will tell the story behind the new airport through an exhibition and conferences detailing how and why this hub has been built. The event will take place at the downtown Istanbul Congress Centre (ICC), Turkey’s most prestigious convention venue and the largest in Istanbul, co-located with Future Travel Experience EMEA. It is expected to attract 2,000+international visitors and 150+ exhibitors.
The EXPO will include dedicated zones for various areas of interest, where you visitors can expect to see and demo a wide variety of new solutions from suppliers, including established global industry providers, regional specialists and dynamic new startups. Many of the products and services from the new airport will be displayed – ranging from airfield vehicles through to the latest terminal equipment, furnishings and processing technologies.