Turkey’s Istanbul Airport has opened its third parallel runway for flight operations on 14 June.

Anadolu Agency (AA) reported that the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan presided over the runway’s opening ceremony.

With this runway, Istanbul Airport is the first airport in Turkey and the second in Europe, after Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, to operate three runways in parallel.

In April, Istanbul Airport filed an official application with the Directorate General of Civil Aviation to ensure that its third runway would be open for flight operations by 18 June.

This runway is expected to reduce the domestic taxi times by around 50%.

According to a simulation, the average landing time will drop from 15 minutes to 11 minutes while average takeoff time will decrease from 22 minutes to 15 minutes.

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Istanbul Airport tweeted: “We’re ready to rise together! Our third independent runway that will allow us to carry out simultaneous operations with our first two runways has been put into service today with a historic flight.”

The first phase of the airport was opened in October 2018.

Istanbul Airport is said to be one of the world’s most important and biggest airports and can accommodate approximately 100 million passengers a year.

By 2028, the airport is expected to serve around 200 million passengers a year at full capacity, when all four phases are completed with six runways.

In October last year, the owners of Istanbul Airport dropped plans to sell stakes in the $11bn facility.

Turkish construction companies Cengiz Insaat, Limak Holding, Mapa Insaat, Kalyon Insaat and Kolin Insaat secured the rights to build and operate the airport. Each company originally held equal stakes.