ISTANBUL, Feb 10 (Reuters) - The third airport in Turkey’s largest city, Istanbul, will open on Oct. 29, Transport Minister Ahmet Arslan was quoted on Saturday by state-run Anadolu news agency as saying.
Eighty percent of the construction of the airport, which Turkey says will be one of the world’s biggest, is completed, Arslan said. The project is designed to accommodate growing traffic in a major hub.
Under President Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey has built high-speed railways, suspension bridges and undersea tunnels to boost the construction industry and domestic demand.
The airport is among Turkey’s mega-projects which include a third bridge across the Bosphorus that opened in 2016 and plans to build a huge canal in Istanbul that would render a large chunk of the city an island.
Incoming flights will be directed to the new airport from the existing Ataturk Airport as soon as the new one opens, the agency quoted Arslan saying. The transition to the new site will be completed in 48 hours.
The airport will be large enough for 114 planes to dock at the same time, the minister told Anadolu, adding that it would employ 225,000 people when fully operational.
Arslan said around $10.2 billion was invested in the project and that it would generate around $22.2 billion in 25 years before value added tax.
Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport is among Europe’s five busiest airports, recovering in 2017 from a downturn in passenger traffic the previous year. It will be closed after the new airport opens.
Istanbul is a major hub for transit flights, attracting lucrative transfer traffic this year from major airports in the Gulf as Turkey recovers from security worries, according to travel data analysis company Forward Keys. (Writing by Ali Kucukgocmen; Editing by Stephen Powell)