Third bridge over Bosphorus to open in August: Minister
CİHAN photoThe third bridge over the Bosphorus Strait in Istanbul will be ready to open in August, while the city’s third airport will open in February 2018, Transport, Communications and Maritime Minister Binali Yıldırım said on Feb. 24.
“The bridge’s silhouette will appear in five to 10 days, but we want to open all connection roads together with the bridge. Therefore, the bridge will be ready along with connection roads to open by August,” he said at the Anadolu Agency Editors’ Desk.
The groundbreaking ceremony for Istanbul’s $3-billion third bridge, named the Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge for the Ottoman sultan who was famous for his conquests in the Eastern world, was held in May 2013.
Some environmentalist groups had protested the plan, saying it would destroy forested areas in Istanbul’s north.
Third airport to open in 2018
Yıldırım also noted a section of the city’s third airport will open at the beginning of 2018.
“The section of the new airport will cost 10.3 billion euros and have the capacity to host 90 million passengers annually at the initial stage,” he said.
The Cengiz-Kolin-Limak-Mapa-Kalyon consortium, a joint venture of Turkish companies, won a tender in 2013 to build the airport, which promises to pay the government 22.1 billion euros for 25 years starting from 2017.
Boasting a 150-million annual passenger capacity, the airport is expected to become one of the biggest in the world and the biggest air transfer hub in Europe. The airport will also act as a focal point for Turkey’s national flag carrier, Turkish Airlines, which is one of the fastest growing airline companies in the world, currently flying to more than 200 foreign destinations.
“When the new airport is opened, there will be no scheduled flights at Atatürk Airport… We plan to convert this area into a ‘city airport,’ which will not have an intense air traffic, staging mainly training flights and offering a green field amid the city life,” he said.
The new airport will have 165 connection bridges, six runways and 12 taxi lanes when it is completed, he noted.
Yıldırım said Turkey’s share in the world’s air traffic was 0.45 percent in 2003, but has now increased to 2 percent.
“While the world growth average is around 5 percent annually, Turkey has achieved growth over 10 percent in the last decade. While roughly 55,000 people worked in the civil aviation sector in Turkey in 2003, Atatürk Airport alone is now employing that many people,” he said.
He also noted how Atatürk Airport has grown to become the third busiest airport in Europe, while it ranked 14th a decade ago.