Istanbul’s Atatürk Airport to become expo area after third airport opens: Minister
The International Atatürk Airport will become an exposition area once Istanbul’s giant third airport starts operating, Transport, Maritime Affairs and Communications Minister Ahmet Arslan has stated.
“Opening it to construction or the building of a mall or residences is out of the question,” Arslan told Doğan TV Ankara Representative Hakan Çelik in an interview on private broadcaster CNN Türk on Aug. 6, adding that the terminals of the airport will continue to serve as an exposition area.
The under-construction third airport in Istanbul is expected to open in stages, with around 2,000 airplanes able to land and take off daily upon the opening of the first stage, which will have a passenger capacity of 90 million per year and a terminal building that covers an area of 1.3 million square meters. Upon the completion of two more runways and additional facilities, the new airport will reach a capacity of 150 million passengers.
“It is impossible to use two airports at the same time. They both use the same air corridor. But we absolutely don’t want this place to open to construction. It needs to be reorganized as an area that will make Istanbul breathe. It could be used as an area where small planes can land; there are already plenty of terminals there and we want them to continue serving as expo areas,” Arslan said, adding that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım had ordered these changes.
In the interview, Arslan also said Turkey’s second “on-sea” airport will be built off the Black Sea provinces of Rize and Artvin.
Turkey’s first airport built on sea, Ordu Giresun Airport, is also located in the country’s Black Sea region.
“Right now, we are constructing the airport in the center of Çukurova that will serve [the southern provinces of] Adana, Mersin and Osmaniye. We want it to be completed in 2018. We want an airport similar to the Ordu Giresun Airport off Rize and Artvin. The second airport to be constructed on the sea will be Rize-Artvin and efforts are ongoing,” Arslan said, adding that the ministry aims to finish the Rize-Artvin airport in 2020, even though the estimated year of opening is 2021.
He also that further airport construction projects are ongoing, including one serving the northern provinces of Bayburt and Gümüşhane, one in the Black Sea province of Tokat, and one in the Central Anatolian province of Yozgat, for which a tender will be held.
In Istanbul, in addition to the new airport under construction on the city’s European side, Arslan said a second runway is being built at the Sabiha Gökçen Airport on the Asian side.
“Our aim is to finish that runway in 2019,” he said.
In the same interview, Arslan stated that a “local and national e-mail system” was being developed by the government, which the authorities aim to complete by the end of 2018.
“We will initially provide the public sector with the e-mails. All citizens will, of course, be able to use it,” he added.