Istanbul’s Atatürk Airport area not zoned for construction: Minister

Istanbul’s Atatürk Airport area not zoned for construction: Minister

Istanbul’s Atatürk Airport area not zoned for construction: Minister

Istanbul’s Atatürk Airport will not be zoned for construction once the city’s third airport project is completed, Transportation, Maritime Affairs and Communications Minister Ahmet Arslan told daily Habertürk on Dec. 27.

“The Atatürk Airport will not be zoned for construction. It will be designed as an area that will give Istanbul a breath of fresh air,” the minister said.

“We are also planning to use it as an area where smaller planes will land. There are many terminals here, and we want to see them serve as expo areas,” Arslan added.

Some 73 percent of the third airport project has been completed, he said.

The possibility that shopping malls or apartments will be built in the area of the airport is out of question, he said.

Istanbul’s third airport will welcome its first plane before February of next year, Arslan had said on Oct. 6, speaking at state-run Anadolu Agency’s Editors’ Desk in Ankara.

“We will land the first plane at Istanbul’s third airport before February 2018,” Arslan said.

The first phase of the official opening of the new under-construction airport in Istanbul will be on Oct. 29 of next year, the minister added. Oct. 29 is the day Turkey marks Republic Day, commemorating the proclamation of the Republic of Turkey in 1923.

When it is completed next year, the new airport will assume most of the passenger traffic from Atatürk International Airport, hosting 250 airlines flying to more than 350 destinations, making it one of the world’s largest transport hubs.

When the first phase is completed in 2018, it will have the world’s largest terminal under one roof, with a gross floor area of nearly 11 million square feet and the ability to serve 90 million passengers a year.

After the completion of all phases, the airport is expected to be the one of busiest ones in the world, with flights to over 350 destinations and, eventually, an annual capacity of 200 million passengers.

Istanbul’s Atatürk Airport is the busiest airport in Turkey, with 41.6 million passengers in the first eight months of 2017, according to the state airports authority. It was followed by Sabiha Gökçen Airport with 20.5 million passengers, Istanbul’s main air hub on the Asian side.