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New Istanbul Airport

International consortium to build Turkey’s new gateway to the world.

Project details

  • Location: Istanbul, Turkey
  • Important developments: New airport
  • Scheduled opening date: 2017
  • Principal companies involved: İGA Havalimanı İşletmesi AS Cengi, Mapa, Limak, Kolin and Kalyon, Arup, Grimshaw, Nordic Office of Architecture, Haptic Architects, GMW Mimarlik and Tekeli Sisa
  • Total investment: €10.2 billion

An international team of architects is working on the design of Istanbul’s planned new €10.2 billion airport, which is expected to boast the world’s biggest terminal complex.

Arup has developed the master plan for the new airport, which with an ultimate capacity of over 150 million passengers per annum, will become one of the world’s new mega-hubs.

While UK-based Grimshaw – in partnership with the Nordic Office of Architecture – will design the gateway’s one million square metre terminal for the İGA Havalimanı İşletmesi AS consortium responsible for building and operating the gateway.

İGA Havalimanı İşletmesi AS comprises the Turkish companies of Cengiz, Mapa, Limak, Kolin and Kalyon, all of which have a 20% stake in the build-operate-transfer (BOT) project.

Others working on the huge project include Haptic Architects and local Turkish partners GMW Mimarlik and Tekeli Sisa. 

Located 35 kilometres from the centre of Istanbul on a 7,650-hectare site close to the Black Sea, the gateway will replace Atatürk Airport and provide the capacity needed to support the continued rapid growth of air traffic and the hub operations of Turkish Airlines. 

And with the bulk of flights expected to approach the airport from the Black Sea, it is anticipated that the new airport could enjoy 24-hours-a-day operating status.

Funded by the İGA Havalimanı İşletmesi AS consortium, which in May won the concession to build and operate the airport for a period of 25 years, the six-runway gateway is set to be delivered in four phases over the coming decades.

Upon its first phase opening on October 29, 2017, Istanbul’s new airport will have three runways, a single passenger terminal and cargo and support facilities that between them are capable of accommodating up to 90 million passengers per annum.

According to Grimshaw, the design of the terminal will be “modern and highly functional, with a unique sense of place”. 

It will feature a vaulted canopy dotted with skylights that allow natural light to spotlight key sections of the facility such as the departure and arrivals halls, passport control and concession areas.

A large plaza and transport hub will be built at the entrance to the terminal, allowing the airport to integrate with existing rail, metro and bus routes.

Turkish Airlines’ president and CEO, Temil Kotil, for one, has no doubt that the airport will provide Turkish Airlines with an “outstanding new base” from which it can build on its astonishing growth of the last few years.

When asked about what the new airport would mean for Turkish Airlines at the GAD conference in Athens this November, Kotil said: “It will be good for Turkish Airlines and Istanbul as although Atatürk is a very good airport, we have outgrown it and need more capacity to meet future demand.”

The Turkish government awarded the concession to build and operate Istanbul’s new €10.2 billion gateway to the İGA Havalimanı İşletmesi AS consortium after it agreed to pay it a sizeable fee of €22.2 billion plus VAT over the course of the 25 year operating lease. 

It promises that Istanbul’s new gateway to the world will offer “outstanding aesthetic features and a simple and user-friendly layout”.

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