New Istanbul airport to only open fully at end of year

- A Monitor Report 17 Oct, 2018  |    -      +
ISTANBUL : The opening of Istanbul’s massive new landmark airport looks likely to be delayed until the end of 2018 ‘at the earliest.’

The news comes after the airport’s general manager, Kadri Samsunlu, told local media that instead of fully opening end of October, the inauguration would take place on December 30 or 31.

The airport is a centerpiece of a 15-year construction boom under President Tayyip Erdogan. It has an initial planned capacity of 90 million passengers a year, making it one of the world’s biggest.

Istanbul’s new airport will not open fully until the end of this year, a local Turkish newspaper cited the general manager as saying, two months later than an official opening scheduled for the end of this month.

The planned opening on October 29 was due to coincide with the 95th anniversary of the Turkish Republic’s proclamation, which occurred in 1923, but the general manager, Kadri Samsunlu, said it would only open partially on that date.

The Ataturk Airport will be functional until the New Year’s Eve, Hurriyet Daily News quoted Samsunlu as telling a group of reporters visiting the new airport with him. Ataturk is the city’s current main airport.

The imaginatively-named ‘Istanbul New Airport’ has been under construction since May 2015 and is a four-phase project that is due to be completed by 2030. It is estimated to have an annual passenger capacity of around 150 million people; this will make it the largest-capacity airport in the world.

By the time construction is complete the airport will boast four terminals, six runways, 16 taxiways, 165 jet bridges, a 70,000,000 sq ft apron with 500 aircraft parking capacity, and even its own state palace. There is also the room to expand further to a capacity of 200 million annual passengers if desired.

Istanbul is currently served by Atatürk Airport, currently the 15th busiest airport in the world and a major international hub.

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