Istanbul’s third airport to be operational by 2018: State airports authority
ISTANBULThe new under-construction airport in Istanbul will be operational by 2018 with two landing fields and one terminal, General Directorate of State Airports (DHMİ) head Serdar Hüseyin Yıldırım has vowed, amid recent delays in building work.
“We plan to make the airport operational by the first quarter of 2018. At the beginning there will be two landing fields and one terminal. Construction activities will continue. After the completion of the third and fourth landing fields and the additional facilities, the airport will reach a capacity of 150 million passengers,” Yıldırım said, quoted by Anadolu Agency.
He also predicted that the airport will gradually reach its targeted passenger capacity of 150 million after the completion of all planned landing fields and additional facilities.
Yıldırım rejected recent claims about further delays to the opening of the airport, but confirmed that the consortium responsible for building it has faced several problems, as the construction site is located on an old mining area. He also rejected claims that there are underground lakes in the area. “We do not know anything about the extent of these problems, but a series of drillings are being made at the site to determine it. Naturally, these drillings take some time,” he said.
The airport is controversial for many people, mainly due to its potential environmental effects as it is being constructed in the middle of a forested area north of the city.
Yıldırım also said there would be no terminal specially assigned to any particular airport at the beginning.
“As far as we known, all local and foreign airline companies will use the same terminal until the second terminal is completed,” he added.
Recent news reports claimed that leading state-run banks will finance a total of 3.5 billion euros of the 4.5 billion euro first-phase financing of the airport. The remaining 1 billion euros will be financed by private banks, including Russia’s Sberbank.
The Cengiz-Kolin-Limak-Mapa-Kalyon Consortium, a joint venture of Turkish companies, won a tender to build the third airport in Istanbul in 2013, promising to pay the government 22.1 billion euros for 25 years starting from 2017. The construction started in 2014.