“A Monument of Victory: Istanbul Airport” to meet the audience !

“A Monument of Victory: Istanbul Airport” – a documentary film narrating the story of Istanbul Airport as the largest project in the history of the Republic from its initial stages of gestation to the airport’s shift to operation at full capacity – prepares to meet the audience on Sunday, the 31st of May 2020 (today). The documentary provides a comprehensive narrative on the construction process of Istanbul Airport – a project that manifests Turkey’s claim in aviation industry – down to the last detail.

The 56-minutes long documentary titled “A Monument of Victory: Istanbul Airport” narrating all stages of Istanbul Airport from the planning process to construction and from construction to the launch of operations as an airport that has pushed Turkey over the top of aviation is available on İGA Istanbul Airport’s YouTube channel as of Sunday, May 31, at 20:00 p.m. with simultaneous broadcast on several TV channels.

The product of 1857-days’ hard work…

Over 230 hours of camera shooting was made in the production of the” A Monument of Victory: Istanbul Airport” documentary, with more than 100 people working in the production and post-production phases. The documentary being the product of 1.857-days’ hard work comprises time-lapse shoots taken by 20 cameras over the course of 3 years from 100 different points. A total of 40 terabytes of data were recorded for the documentary that took record of every detail for 61 months.

Not a mere airport, but a monument of victory…

During the construction of Istanbul Airport, 12.400 bores and test pits were drilled. 3.159 construction equipment operated nonstop. 750 million cubic meters of soil was excavated. 320 million cubic meters of filling works was carried out. 7 million cubic meters of concrete was poured. “A Monument of Victory: Istanbul Airport” offers a dynamic insight to the sublime story of Istanbul Airport as Turkey’s gate to the world that has proven itself as a global HUB in its first year of operation already, on account of its unique architecture, strong infrastructure, superior technologies, and the outstanding travel experience offered to its passengers.

The documentary points out that Istanbul Airport was completed in record time of just 42 months, whilst the project was initially anticipated by many to take 10 years under normal conditions when compared to other airport constructions worldwide, placing emphasis on the fact that the design process alone may take up to 4 years in projects like this. Yet in contrast, İGA managed to complete the airport’s construction and put it into service in a time as short as 42 months. The documentary informs that Istanbul Airport, the opening of which was initially scheduled for 29 October 2018, completed the challenging construction process in record time of just 42 months, highlighting the fact that the idle land on which the airport is located has been made earthquake-proof, thus turning it into a gem of sustainable added value for Turkish economy.

A terminal design paying tribute to Sinan the Architect…

The documentary narrates that Istanbul Airport has an authentic design that combines modernity with functionality, emphasizing that in architectural terms the airport terminal takes its inspiration from Istanbul’s cultural heritage. It is also mentioned that the terminal’s architecture is an elaborated reflection of the mosques, baths, domes and many other historic structures of Istanbul, with motives peculiar to Turkish-Islamic art and architecture bestowing a whole new beauty, texture and depth upon the project. As is known, the design of Istanbul Airport’s air traffic control tower took its inspiration from the “tulip” – a figure of cultural significance in Turkish-Islamic history and the city symbol of Istanbul for centuries – while the terminal’s roofs make reference to the designs of Sinan the Architect.

The documentary draws attention that at Istanbul Airport, designed to offer every detail for passenger comfort, an international baggage handling technology was built onsite. Luggage collected from 13 check-in islands by a 42-kilometers’ long baggage handling system capable to handle 30.000 pieces of luggage hourly are conveyed from the passengers to aircrafts and vice versa without delay. It is highlighted that, for this, the airport makes use of advanced technology, robots and artificial intelligence systems.

A significant contribution to Turkey’s vision for 2023…

The documentary narrating the story of Istanbul Airport, which it refers to as a “Monument of Victory” rather than a mere airport, also sheds light to the process that helped the airport reach its current position. Telling the viewer that Istanbul Airport as a project originated in the face of the fact that Atatürk Airport had come to the ends of its capacity, thus failing to satisfy the ever-increasing passenger traffic and the constant developments in international aviation, the documentary points out that the airport has made a significant contribution to Turkey’s vision for 2023.

An airport both intelligent and environment-friendly…

Keynoting that, along with its strong infrastructure, Istanbul Airport is an exceptional airport with its award-winning tulip-shaped air traffic control tower coupled with highly energy-efficient building and roof systems, the documentary film highlights that the airport has brought a breath of fresh air to the industry also in terms of environment and sustainability as is manifested by the airport’s ‘Zero Waste’ target. Besides, it is also mentioned that Istanbul Airport, which has a superior infrastructure also in technologic terms, is equipped with robotic and artificial intelligence systems to top its cutting-edge equipment comprising over a hundred special software and hardware such as the runway traffic system or baggage handling system.

Put into service with the name “Istanbul” on the 95th anniversary of the Republic…

One of the documentary’s most exciting parts is the footage of the airport’s opening ceremony. The opening of Istanbul Airport, the construction phase of which was completed in record time of just 42 months, took place on 29 October 2018, marking the 95th anniversary of the Republic of Turkey. The opening was made by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan who referred to Istanbul Airport as a “Monument of Victory” and officially named the airport ‘Istanbul Airport’ at the opening ceremony.

The documentary also provides information on how preliminary tests were performed in the “Operational Readiness and Airport Transfer” process, shortly referred to as ORAT, to test the coordinated and faultless functioning of all operation processes before Istanbul Airport launched operations at full capacity as of 6 April 2019. The documentary also gives every detail of the “Great Move” where, as the last step for Istanbul Airport to start service at full capacity, Atatürk Airport was closed to flights, and materials weighing 47.300 tons in total were moved to Istanbul Airport. Those moments that manifest Turkey’s success in logistics are screened with images that will not be forgotten for many years.

Now, it is us with Istanbul Airport who sets the rules in aviation…

Mr. Kadri Samsunlu, CEO and Director General at İGA Airport Operation Inc., expressed his thoughts and emotions about “A Monument of Victory: Istanbul Airport”, which narrates the whole process of Istanbul Airport’s inauguration from its early stages of gestation to the launch of operations at full capacity, with following statements: “For over 2 months, we have been fighting the Covid-19 pandemic with the whole world. However, now that we are starting to get back to normal, we are looking forward to the days when we will resume flights. We have taken high-level precautions and we offer ‘an airport that gives maximum priority to safety and hygiene’ to all those who will travel from or to Istanbul Airport. We have decided to refer to the day, on which flights at our airport will resume, as the day of ‘Rebirth’, while it is our first birth that is narrated in the documentary film that will be screened. With this documentary, whole Turkey will witness the moments when we achieved the impossible thanks to our ambition and determination. Thousands of people worked shoulder to shoulder with tremendous devotion in the whole process from construction to operations of Istanbul Airport – the largest project in the Republic’s history, a ‘Monument of Victory’ as called by the President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. I hereby want to extend my sincere gratitude to our partners Kalyon Holding, Cengiz Holding, Mapa Holding, and last but not least Limak Holding who have provided all moral and material support to make this project come true, and even more importantly, brought İGA to life. On behalf of our country and the unique city of Istanbul, I would like to thank every single one of our 183.585 workers who worked night and day for 42 months. Istanbul Airport is of such high significance for Turkey. There are 3 different continents at just three-hours’ distance from Istanbul, can you imagine? This means one and a half billion people. 130 different destinations. We have managed to become the most important hub of international aviation in a short time by reviving, in a sense, the historic Silk Road. We are so proud to have brought an achievement of such magnitude to our country. This achievement is the product of Turkish engineering, our strong national economy, and above all, the ambition and determination of Turkish people. We have shot this documentary film to set an example for new projects and freeze this success story in the people’s memories. With the Covid-19 pandemic starting to lose its effect on our country and the world, my sincere wish is that international aviation gets its revival soon and that we can bring our passengers back to the skies.”

“A Monument of Victory: Istanbul Airport” Impressum

  • Director: M. Bilal Eroğlu
  • Producer: Ömer Abra, Ali Yorgancıoğlu
  • Screenplay: Aybars Bora Kahyaoğlu
  • Original Music: Yücel Arzen
  • Narrator: Uğur Taşdemir
  • Plot and Project Consultancy: Scott Michnichk, Ahmet Özdemir, Anavana Concept Agency
  • Technical Consultant: Uğur İçbak
  • Helicopter Shots Director of Cinematography: Uğur İçbak
  • Postproduction: Sinefekt
  • Project Coordinator: Emrah Akalın, Murat Kahraman, Celal Karasakal
  • Corporate Communication Team: Hatice Alioğlu, Mertcan Tanaydı, Begüm Güler, Nigar Şeyda Yılmaz, Aslıhan Varel, Didem Öztekin, Cem Şekercioğlu, Birben Tuna, Şifa Göktepe, Salihbey Kavalcı, Nezih Torlak