Over half of Istanbul’s giant third airport project completed, Turkish PM says
ISTANBULOver half of the construction of Istanbul’s third airport, which is projected by the government to be the largest in the world, has been completed, Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım has stated.
‘’At the moment, 55 percent [of the airport] is ready. It will be completely finished by Oct. 29 next year,” Yıldırım told state-run Anadolu Agency following an aerial tour of the site on July 9.
Once finished, the new facility will initially provide service for 90 million passengers, he added.
“Even just the first phase is on the scale of today’s world’s largest airport. In the end it will actually end up being even bigger. Therefore, with our [new] airport, our country will become an aviation meeting point for Africa, Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Of course, this will bring a whole new dimension to the local and global economy,” Yıldırım said.
“We are building a metro network for our citizens connecting the center of the city with the third airport.
We are also continuing work to connect it to highways. There is a lot of ongoing work. It’s almost like building a new city from scratch,” he added.
Currently, almost 30,000 employees work on the site, where 8,000 construction machines are operating, the prime minister said.
“Once the first stage is finished, this place will be like a city directly employing 100,000 people … What’s our country’s biggest problem currently? Work opportunities. But through this project, we are providing work and food for our citizens,’’ Yıldırım said.
“Years ago, Istanbul’s coal was distributed from this point,” he added, referring to the site of the project located to the north of Istanbul.
“Because of those coal mines, the terrain was very rough. It was an abandoned area with potholes and water that had accumulated all around them. What did we do? We gave them this pothole and told them to build the world’s largest airport. Today, we are building an airport. On top of that we will receive 26.5 billion euros from it over the course of 25 years,” he said.
Putting the investment volume at more than 10 billion euros, Yıldırım claimed that “not a penny is being spent on the project from the pocket [of the citizen].”
IGA Airports, the contractor, will operate the facility for 25 years, paying 1.05 billion euros in annual rent, before handing it over to the state.
Aside from the construction of the airport, Yıldırım also visited the fast train and suburb line between Istanbul’s Halkalı neighborhood and neighboring Gebze, a television tower in Çamlıca, the under-construction July 15 Martyrs Memorial and the under-construction Çamlıca Mosque in Istanbul.