The gateway is set to boast three runways and a super size terminal capable of handling 90 million passengers per annum when it opens on October 29, 2017.
Its capacity will eventually rise to 150mppa, the first of two planned development phases being activated when it handles 80 million passengers per annum.
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.
Turkish Airlines’ president and CEO, Temil Kotil, for one, has no doubt that the 2017 opening date is feasible, despite alleged funding issues the huge construction programme necessary to make it become a reality.
“A total of 25 new airports have opened in Turkey in the last 10 years, some built in less than one year. We are good at building things in Turkey,” he says.
"The new airport 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”.
Arup has developed the master plan for the new airport, which 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.
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.