‘Istanbul’s third airport should have been planned much smaller’
BURSA - Doğan News Agency
'The third airport could have been planned to be smaller at the initial stage,' Hamdi Akın says. DHA PhotoIstanbul’s under-construction third airport should have been planned to be smaller, with room to be enlarged gradually, according to Hamdi Akın, the chairman of TAV Airports and Akfen Holding.
“If I was the winner of the tender for the construction of the airport, I would have planned it smaller, with the possibility to enlarge it gradually [later],” Akın said at a panel on Dec. 17.
TAV was one of the companies that bid in the tender, which was eventually won in May 2013 by the Cengiz-Kolin-Limak-Mapa-Kalyon Holding Consortium, a joint venture of Turkish companies that paid 22.1 billion euros.
“The third airport could have been planned to be smaller at the initial stage. Then it could have been enlarged gradually. One terminal could have been built, rather than four or more terminals at the beginning. Then, further terminals could have been built according to demand, as is the case for other airports across the world,” he added.
Akın also suggested that such huge projects damage competitiveness.
“Few companies show an interest in tenders that are opened up at 10 billion euros. It is not easy to find that much money for a company. Twenty percent of this money must be equity capital, I mean you must show 2 billion euros as a warranty to request 8 billion euros in loans from banks. Therefore, at least four or five companies have to form a consortium to bid, as happened in the third airport project. Such consortiums may be more at risk of managerial gaps,” he added.
Akın said TAV Airports had wanted to pave the way for the construction of a third landing field at the Atatürk Airport to increase its passenger capacity, which was also wanted by Turkish Airlines.
“We worked really hard and prepared many projects. Turkish Airlines wanted this as well,” he said, while stressing that he was not against the construction of a third airport in Istanbul at the same time.