Construction work at Istanbul's third international airport continues at a brisk pace, despite the filing of two different lawsuits by local residents and environmental groups.
The Cengiz-Kolin-Limak-Mapa-Kalyon consortium, which is a joint venture of Turkish companies, is building the airport along with the grant holder of the site Istanbul Grand Airport (IGA), reported Hurriyet Daily News.
The new airport was embroiled in a controversy after local residents and environmental groups filed a lawsuit saying that the airport, which is being built on a forested land, would cause serious damage to the environment.
The country's forestry ministry stated that according to the results of a study conducted on the environmental impact of the project, there are more than two million trees in the area, out of which 657,950 have to be cut down and over a million have to be relocated.
Upon completion in 2017, this airport is expected to become the largest in the world, claims officials. The airport would have a capacity of 150 million passengers.
The airport construction will be carried out in four phases. The first stage will be finished in 42 months after the delivery of area. The total projected cost for the airport's construction is €7bn. It has also guaranteed 342 million passengers for 12 years.
According to the project's geotechnical reports, a total of 780 geological surveys have been conducted since the work started in March, in addition to 1,020 soil sample tests and 9,000 cone penetrometer tests (CPT).
The project's progress is managed by the Turkish Aviation Organization and Administration, which is under the authority of the General Directorate of State Airports.