It was a historic moment. On June 21 the Turkish presidential aircraft TC-ANK carrying President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan touched down at İstanbul New Airport. It was the first ever landing by a passenger aircraft and was greeted with a water salute on the runway. The airport is due to open on October 29.
President Erdoğan was met by ground crew and workers. “Today is a very, very meaningful day for us”, he said in a statement after landing showing himself pleased about the construction of “a magnificent airport”, which will be a leading hub for global air traffic. İstanbul’s new airport will be one of the three biggest airports in the world with the annual capacity of 90 million passengers in the first phase, he said, adding the airport would be a brand for the country. After the launch of the new airport, İstanbul’s Atatürk Airport will be replaced by a huge park named “People’s Garden,” Erdoğan announced.
The construction of the airport, which is situated over an area of 76,5 million square meters to the north of İstanbul, in 35 km distance to the city center of İstanbul, will be carried out in four phases. In the second phase, which is expected to be completed in 2023, it is projected that the number of passengers will rise to 200 million. The airport will host nearly 100 airline companies flying to more than 350 destinations.
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