Turkish Airlines (THY) chairman Hamdi Topçu has announced that the country's primary international airport, Atatürk International Airport, will be shut down after the completion of the construction of Erdogan Airport.
The construction of the new airport, which is being named after the country's current president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, is projected to be completed by 2018, costing an estimated €10bn. Work began in June 2014.
Once complete, the airport is supposed to become the largest in the world with a capacity to handle 150 million passengers annually.
The new airport is being constructed to ease the air traffic congestion demands on the existing Atatürk Airport.
Topçu was quoted by The Daily Sabah as saying: "Atatürk Airport is getting inadequate. It is a disadvantage as Turkey has an aim to export to $500bn. As the same airspace will be used, Atatürk Airport will be shut down.
"It is hard for two airports operate at the same time. When all its phases are completed, Istanbul's new airport will be able to handle 150 million per year, which means surpassing current largest capacity of Atlanta with 90 million and becoming the largest airport."
The joint venture consortium of Cengiz-Kolin-Limak-Mapa-Kalyon won the tender for the construction of the Erdogan Airport in 2013.
Construction of the airport will be carried out in four stages, with the first stage to be finished in 42 months after the delivery of area.
Image: Turkey's Atatürk International Airport to be shut down after the completion of construction of its new airport. Photo: courtesy of TAV Airports Holding.