Turkey is set to officially open the Istanbul New Airport, which the government claims will eventually become the world’s largest airport.
The timing of the opening has been set to coincide with the 95th anniversary of Turkey’s establishment as a republic.
Turkey president Recep Tayyip Erdogan will attend the opening ceremony. Also in attendance will be more than 50 foreign leaders, ministers and high-level officials.
During the first phase, Istanbul New Airport, which is located on the shores of the Black Sea, will serve 90 million passengers annually. The new airport will replace the existing Ataturk Airport, which now handles 64 million people per year, towards the end of this year.
When the airport will become fully functional in ten years, it will occupy nearly 19,000 acres and will have six runways.
The airport will offer flights to more than 300 destinations and serve up to 200 million travellers per year, a figure which is nearly double that of the world’s current biggest airport, Hartsfield Jackson International Airport located in the US state of Atlanta.
Istanbul Grand Airport (İGA) Airport Operation CEO and general manager Kadri Samsunlu was quoted by ftnnews.com as saying: “Everything is contained in a single terminal which itself makes an important architectural contribution to the great city of Istanbul.
“Besides its modern facilities, comforts, and unrivalled connectivity, İstanbul New Airport has the capacity and security to keep growing, and growing in a sustainable way, far into the future.
“Myself, all the staff of İGA, and all our partners and stakeholders, all look forward with pride to warmly welcoming the world to İstanbul New Airport, from where everyone truly will have a great flight.”
The new airport’s interiors have been designed to reflect Turkish and Islamic cultures, including mosques, baths, domes and historic structures. The design of the ATC tower resembles a tulip, Turkey’s national flower.