Minister names location for 3rd Istanbul airport

Minister names location for 3rd Istanbul airport

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Minister names location for 3rd Istanbul airport

The Atatürk Airport, as seen here in the aerial photo, is one of the two airports of Istanbul. The government has taken first steps to start contruction process for a third airport to meet the rapidly growing demand in Turkey’s largest city in terms of population. Hürriyet photo

The Turkish government has begun procedures to nationalize a plot of land ahead of the construction of a third Istanbul airport, according to Transport Minister Binali Yıldırım.

If the process runs according to schedule, the tender announcement will take place this month while the tender itself will take place this year, he said.

Speaking to reporters after a fast-breaking meal on Aug. 1, Yıldırım said the airport would be built on the build-operate-transfer model, and that the High Planning Commission (YPK) was in the final stages of making its decision.

According to Yıldırım, the first stage of the airport’s construction will be completed by 2015, and the airport will be able to accommodate 90 million passengers in its first stage.

The location that has been chosen for the airport is 80 percent public land, while the remaining 20 percent will be obtained through nationalization.

Location is determined

“The location of the airport has been determined. It will be on the European side in the northern part of the city near the Black Sea,” the minister said.

Yıldırım also addressed concerns about Istanbul Atatürk Airport’s rental contract, saying it was valid until 2021 and that the third airport would not impact former’s deal. He said the Atatürk Airport’s function would change to become an inner-city boutique airport, but added that with the expected increase in air traffic, both airports would be necessary.

When asked by reporters about potential names for both the third airport and the third bridge, Yıldırım joked that finding a name was easy.

“Which is more important: the construction or the name?” he said, adding that they were considering the possibility of conducting a survey and asking the Turkish people for their views on the matter.