Erdoğan's plane makes first ever landing at new Istanbul airport
The Turkish presidential aircraft TC-ANK took off after Erdoğan’s election rally in the southeastern province of Gaziantep to make its historic landing on the 3,750-meter-long and 60-meter-wide runway.
The aircraft was greeted with a water salute on the runway.
Upon his arrival at the airport, Erdoğan made a short statement from the cockpit, saying he is pleased about the construction of “a magnificent airport” in Istanbul.
Erdoğan said the airport would be a leading hub for global air traffic, state-run Anadolu Agency reported.
Istanbul’s new airport will be one of the three biggest airports in the world with the annual capacity of 90 million passengers in the first phase, he said, adding the airport would be a brand for the country.
In the first phase, the airport will welcome 90 million passengers annually. In the second phase, which is expected to be completed in 2023, it is projected that the number would rise to 150-250 million.
After the launch of the new airport, Istanbul’s Atatürk Airport will be replaced by a huge park named “People’s Garden,” Erdoğan announced earlier.
Transportation, Maritime Affairs and Communications Minister Ahmet Arslan said on June 22 that 225,000 people would work at the airport.
Talking to Anadolu Agency’s Editors Desk in the capital Ankara, Arslan said: “It is a prestigious project. It is true. At the same time it is a trademark project for Turkey. At the same time, it is a project that will contribute both to Turkey’s employment and economy.”
About the name of the new airport, Arslan asked: “Why shouldn’t it be named after Recep Tayip Erdoğan?” adding the name would be decided by the president himself.