Third runway at Istanbul Airport to open in June
ISTANBUL – Demirören News Agency
A new runaway at Istanbul Airport will be put into use on June 18, said the CEO of the company operating the mega air travel hub on April 6.
“Works for the third runway are continuing. We are planning to launch the new runway, which will bring significant operational advantages, on June 18,” said Kadri Samsunlu, CEO and general manager of İGA, in a written statement marking the first anniversary of the new airport starting to serve with full capacity.
“The windmills around Istanbul Airport will be removed until the end of this year, and then the construction of the outbuildings will be completed. Everything at Istanbul Airport continue in accordance with the planned schedule,” he added.
İGA was founded in 2013 to construct and operate Istanbul Airport for 25 years. The construction of the airport, which is 35 kilometers away from the city center, will be completed in four phases. The first phase was finalized when two runways and a terminal with a passenger capacity of 90 million were commissioned last year. Once completed, the airport operator aims to host flights to more than 300 destinations with an annual capacity of 200 million passengers.
The big switch from Atatürk Airport, which is now closed to passenger flights, to the new Istanbul airport began on April 5, 2019, and lasted 33 hours.
“We managed the operation to move from an operating airport in a 45-kilometer distance without any problem,” said Samsunlu.
The General Directorate of State Airports Authority had guaranteed an annual international flight income of 233.1 million euros, Samsunlu recalled, adding that since the guaranteed amount was exceeded, IGA paid back the Turkish government 22.4 million euros.
Although the Turkish Airlines had to ground 24 of its Boeing 737 MAX aircraft due to deadly crashes in other countries and worldwide travel bans were caused by the coronavirus pandemic, Istanbul Airport hosted 64 million passengers of 74 airlines in 12 months, according to Samsunlu’s remarks.
“But we are sure that the Turkish aviation sector will continue its accelerated growth in the upcoming days,” he said.
“We will reach our targets with some delay because of the pandemic,” he added. “We should focus on the post-crisis period.”