Just a couple of days ago, Turkey officially took the wraps off what is being billed as the world’s biggest airport. The New Istanbul Airport was inaugurated on Monday and is aiming to start its operations by the end of this year.
The glitzy new airport is ambitious, features award-winning design and has been subject to many controversies.
Turkey is betting on the airport propelling it as a major travel hub and as a key player in the world aviation stage. The airport will feature a decor that shows off its East-meets-West character to international travelers from all over the world.
The new Istanbul airport was recently inaugurated on October 29th, a date which is important for modern Turkey since it was exactly 95 years ago that the country was established as a republic.
Interesting Facts About Istanbul New Airport
What is it that has got people talking about this ambitious project the world over? For starters, the Istanbul Airport has:
- A total project area of 76.5 million square meters, one of the biggest projects of its kind.
- The world’s largest terminal under one roof.
- A serving capacity of 200,000+ passengers daily.
- Rainwater utilization capacity as well as recycling capabilities.
The airport will open in phases and the PR team says that it is built to grow as need be.
Interestingly, European aviation experts say that the Istanbul Airport is nearly double the size of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, the current biggest airport.
In fact, they are surprised about the speed it took to complete this project. In just three and a half years, the contractors have managed to build this airport. More importantly and crucially, they have ensured that the airport’s operational readiness is not compromised in any way, with all related systems, procedures, facilities and equipment ready and in place.
Back home, we are familiar with the gross mismanagement and delays that happened with the New Islamabad Airport project. Berlin’s Brandenburg Airport also serves as another example of how much could go wrong with a project of a similar scope and scale.
The airport has been constructed for $12 billion. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also disclosed the final name for the project – “Istanbul Airport.”
Turkey will be closing its main airport in December 2018 – Ataturk International Airport, with the new Istanbul Airport becoming the main aviation center in the city. The authorities have also connected the new airport with metro, high-speed trains and roads, making it easier for people to get there in time for their flight.
When operational, the Istanbul Airport will compete with other hub airports in the Middle East.
Some environmental groups have said that the airport’s construction has caused mass deforestation in the region.
Some labor groups have also accused authorities of poor working conditions, going so far as to say that there have been reports of workers dying on site.
An Unprecedented Project
Turkey is hoping that this new project will help it stave off the current downturn in its economy. Turkey is confident that its currently strong domestic air transport market, as well as flexible laws concerning the environment, may give it the edge to become one of the most busiest and efficiently managed airports in the region.