Situated just 35 kilometers from the center of İstanbul on the European side of the city, İstanbul New Airport is one of the biggest ever infrastructure projects in Turkey. Once finished it will be one of the largest airports in the world and the biggest air transfer hub in Europe.
Construction started in May 2015. In the first phase a main terminal with a total passenger capacity of 90 million passengers will be built, along with three independent runways, eight parallel taxiways, air navigation services, communication and meteorological systems, and other service buildings. The opening of İstanbul New Airport is planned for the first half of 2018. Passengers can reach the city easily by public transport. The airport will be integrated into the entire public transportation system via metro and rapid transit connections. It will also be connected over the third Bosphorus bridge and the North Marmara highway.
Following the completion of all phases by the year 2023 airplanes will be able to use six runways. A capacity of 150 million passengers per year will be realized, which can be extended to 200 million if needed. The airport then will be home to around 150 airlines and offer flights to 350 destinations. Passengers will have rail access between three terminal buildings. In front of the airport the new business center of İstanbul, Airport City, will have risen, with hotels, office buildings, and a medical center.
Construction and operation are going to be eco-friendly. Istanbul New Airport will be a “green” airport, generating its own energy, purifying wastewater, making use of rainwater, and recycling its waste.
It will also set standards in its design. The architecture is going to combine aesthetic and functional features. The terminals will reflect the richness and beauty of Istanbul’s historical structures. An iconic building is going to be the Air Traffic Control Tower, 96 meters high and its design inspired by a tulip.
Currently a total of 10,000 people are working on the site. It covers an area of 76.5 square kilometers or 7,650 hectares – more than three times the size of the airport in Frankfurt. The machinery park is the biggest in Turkey, comprising for example 1,200 high-tonnage trucks. Once operational Istanbul New Airport will provide an economic contribution by employing 100,000 people directly and 1.5 million people indirectly. The construction costs are calculated at €10.3 billion.
With the new airport an increasing problem of air traffic congestion in the skies above Istanbul will be solved. In 2014 İstanbul’s two existing airports, Sabiha Gökçen and Atatürk Airport, handled more than 80 million passengers. Especially Atatürk Airport on the European side of Istanbul cannot meet the growing demand. Once İstanbul New Airport is operational Atatürk will be closed down.