We know 3rd Istanbul airport built on marsh area, says Turkish transport minister

We know 3rd Istanbul airport built on marsh area, says Turkish transport minister

ISTANBUL - Doğan News Agency
We know 3rd Istanbul airport built on marsh area, says Turkish transport minister

Transport Minister Lütfi Elvan the construction site of Istanbul’s third airport on Dec. 26 AA Photo

Transport Minister Lütfi Elvan said Istanbul’s third airport of is being built on a marsh area, which has been drained and improved, in response to the latest criticisms of the Chamber of Geology Engineers.

“We know the airport is being built on a marsh area. The chamber should quit playing politics and focus on science. Construction companies are performing the required drilling activities with the world’s leading experts,” he said during his visit to the construction site on Dec. 26.

He said more than 750 drilling operations have been made at the site.

“Almost three-quarters of the site is on marshlands, so the foundation of the airport must be robust. The construction consortium is therefore working with the world’s leading construction engineering companies to drain and improve the marsh area,” he said, adding that Istanbul’s third airport will be one of the world’s transportation hubs.

More than 30,000 workers will take part in building the airport and around 120,000 new jobs will be created at the airport after it is fully completed, he said.

“Over 150 airline companies will benefit from the airport, which will have international green certificates,” he noted.

Meanwhile, the planned altitude level of the third airport was claimed to have decreased to 70 meters from 105 meters, due to the high cost of removing soil, by the Union of Chambers of Turkish Engineers and Architects (TMMOB) on Dec. 10.

“The planned decrease in the altitude level of the airport to 70 meters from 105 meters will make the entire airport non-functional, as it is not possible for airplanes to take off from and land from an altitude of 70 meters, according to international flight safety criteria,” stated the TMMOB Istanbul Coordination Board report on the third airport.

Elvan noted a change in the altitude level does not mean there will be a decrease in costs.
“Let’s assume the total investment remains below 10 billion euros. The difference in investments will enter into the state’s finances, preventing any public loss,” he noted. 

Elvan said the consortium companies are currently performing drilling activities and ground surveys.
“The construction of the airport will begin after these activities have been completed,” he said, adding that the airport’s construction would be completed on time.

The Cengiz-Kolin-Limak-Mapa-Kalyon Consortium, a joint venture of Turkish companies, won the construction tender in May 2013, promising to pay the state 22.1 billion euros (plus taxes) for 25 years, beginning in 2017.

Elvan also said the Istanbul Atatürk Airport will remain operational after the new airport is completed.