Construction of Istanbul New Airport is continuing at full speed, and IGA Airport Operation chief executive officer, Hüseyin Keskin tells Air Cargo Week staff writer, James Muir it is hoping to commence operations in the first quarter of 2018.
The new airport is a very ambitious project, which will be constructed over a number of phases and will have six runways when it is completed. The site will cover 7,594 hectares, in comparison Ataturk International Airport covers 1,165.
Keskin comments: “İGA continues to work at full speed, the construction has even been more accelerated. That means we are currently even ahead of the schedule in terms of construction works.”
He says over 34 per cent of construction work has been completed and Keskin adds: “While the official deadline for the opening of the first phase of the project is November 2018, we are targeting to commence operations in the first quarter of 2018.”
The project includes big plans for cargo; in the first phase IGA plans to build a cargo centre over an area of 1.4 million square metres and expand to 1.6 million in the future. Keskin says the annual reversible cargo capacity for the first phase will by 5.5 million tonnes, with an area of expansion up to six million tonnes in later phases.
He tells ACW: “We have planned an impeccable operational infrastructure for the Cargo / Logistics centre, where more than 30 widebody air freighters can park simultaneously. The area will be far from passenger terminals and entrepots, with airside service tunnels under runways and taxiways.”
The cargo city includes bonded warehouses, agency buildings, customs offices and operations offices, while banks, test laboratories and parking will be available for employees.
Keskin says: “We will be providing all the latest technology to have a very smooth and efficient environment for cargo business.”
Keskin adds: “Turkey’s strategic location coupled with recent investments from foreign capital makes Istanbul New Airport one of the largest hubs in the world. This status allows our airport to contribute to Turkey’s increasing role in global air cargo.”
Construction of the new airport will have many benefits for Istanbul and Turkey, and is expected to generate 100,000 direct jobs and another 1.5 million indirectly.
He says: “Atatürk is a very good airport, but its capacities are restricted and we need Istanbul New Airport in order to meet future demand. With this mega project, Turkey has taken an enormous step towards meeting the challenges that the world aviation industry will face in the coming years.”