Drilling activities continue at problematic 3rd airport site
Jale Özgentürk ISTANBUL
DHA PhotoDrilling is continuing at the problematic site of Istanbul’s third airport, and the consortium directing the excavations expects to remove more soil than it had previously estimated, according to Ebru Özdemir, a board member of the Limak Group, which is part of the consortium.
“We plan to continue the drilling activities for the completion of the ground survey within three months. It seems that we’ll be unearthing an excessive amount of soil through our digging activities. This will increase our costs, and we’ll be paying these costs,” Özdemir said.
Reaching the desired elevation level for the airport, which is planned to be built on an area containing many old open-pit coal mines that must be filled, requires around 2.5 billion cubic meters of filling material, sources say.
The construction of the airport, which is planned to be one of the world’s largest, officially started in June. According to sources, contractors have begun to work on reducing the initially planned altitude level because such a revision would likely also reduce their construction costs.
However, Özdemir refuted these claims. “The claims about a revision to the altitude level are baseless. We’ll be paying the extra costs that result from removing the huge amount of excavated soil, and we’ll complete the first phase of the airport on Oct. 29, 2017,” she said.
It has also been claimed that the consortium would not able to receive the land to host the planned third airport, as the land would need too much filling to be suitable for accommodating an airport.
“We have not received the land yet, as we need to wait for the test drilling activities to be completed,” Özdemir said, adding that the fact that the conditions of the land were not a problem and could be resolved.
The Cengiz-Kolin-Limak-Mapa-Kalyon Consortium, a joint venture of Turkish companies, won the construction tender on May 3, promising to pay the state 22.1 billion euros (plus taxes) for 25 years starting in 2017.