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  1. Project
16 August 2019

Istanbul New Airport, Black Sea Coast

Istanbul New Airport, also referred to as Istanbul Grand Airport, is expected to accommodate nearly 200 million passenger a year when fully completed.
The design for Terminal 1 of Istanbul New Airport will be carried out by Grimshaw, Haptic Architects, and Nordic. Image courtesy of Grimshaw.
Terminal 1 of the airport will be the largest of its kind, with a gross floor area of approximately one million square metres. Image courtesy of Nordic.
Istanbul New Airport will cover an area of about 76.5 million square metres. Image courtesy of Nupest.

Istanbul New Airport, also referred to as Istanbul Grand Airport, is expected to accommodate nearly 200 million passenger a year when fully completed.

The new airport is located approximately 35km outside of Istanbul, between the residential areas of Yenikoy and Akpınar along the Black Sea coast. It replaced the Atatürk International Airport in April 2019.

The project will be carried out in four stages with an estimated budget of €12bn ($16.65bn). Construction of the airport commenced in June 2014. Completed in October 2018, the first stage enables the airport to initially serve 90 million passengers per year.

The project is expected to generate 225,000 jobs by 2025, which includes 80,000 construction roles.

Istanbul New Airport details

Istanbul New Airport is constructed on an area of approximately 76.5m². It will comprise four terminals covering a total space area of 1.4m², 165 passenger boarding bridges, three technical buildings, eight control towers, six runways, 16 taxiways, and an apron area of 6.5m² with the capacity to accommodate 500 aircraft.

The airport features a 42km-long baggage system with a capacity to handle nearly 30,000 bags per hour. It is also installed with early baggage storage system for baggage that arrives early.

Unifree Dutyfree will operate the YTL1.2bn ($222.4m) duty-free zone at the airport for 25 years. The 53,000m2 duty-free zone will comprise nearly 1,000 domestic and international luxury brands.

The airport will feature 150,000m² ground services campus and 1.4 million square meters cargo city.

A new hotel, YOTELAIR, is located at the departure floor next to passport control. It consists of 451 cabins with airline-style kiosks allowing passengers to check-in and check-out themselves.

The airport will feature a new Gayrettepe-Kağıthane-Kemerburgaz-Göktürk-İhsaniye underground line, which will allow the passengers to reach the airport in 25 minutes.

Construction details of Istanbul New Airport

The airport construction will utilise about 350,000t of iron and steel, 10,000t of aluminium and 415,000m² of glass.

Turkey’s Izmir Adnan Menderes International Airport serves Izmir, an important seaside metropolis of Turkey.

The first stage of construction involved two terminals, including the main terminal with a gross floor area of approximately one million square metres and a satellite terminal covering an area of 170,000m².

Other project components under the first stage included the construction of 88 passenger boarding bridges, a covered car park with capacity for 12,000 vehicles, three independent runways, eight parallel taxiways, an apron covering four million square metres, cargo and other ancillary facilities.

Another runway and three additional parallel taxiways will be constructed as part of the second stage, while the third stage will involve the construction of a 500,000m² terminal building with the capacity for 30 million passengers, an additional apron and runway, and taxiways.

The final stage will involve the construction of an additional terminal building covering 340,000m² and handling up to 30 million passengers, another runway, parallel taxiways, and an apron.

The Gayrettepe-Kağıthane-Kemerburgaz-Göktürk-İhsaniye underground line will become operational by 2020.

The third independent runway is expected to become operational in 2020.

Design of the Terminal 1

Entrance of the new terminal comprise a plaza and a traffic forecourt integrating rail, metro and bus routes, and the proposed Airport Park Central.

The vaulted ceilings of the terminal feature skylights to provide natural daylight within the check-in, security, passport control and retail areas. The layout of the building and the design of the terminal roof enable easy wayfinding and bolster passenger movement.

Air traffic control tower

The ground-breaking ceremony for the air traffic control (ATC) tower was held in October 2016. Designed in the shape of a tulip, the tower earned International Architecture Award by the Chicago Athenaeum in September 2016.

The 90m-tall ATC tower occupies 6,085m2 of space and has 17 floors along with the basement and the control floors. Fitted with glass façade, the outdoor terraces offer panoramic view.


Istanbul Airport signed a €4.5bn ($5bn) loan agreement with Ziraat Bank, Halkbank, VakıfBank, DenizBank, Garanti Bank and Finansbank in October 2015 for the construction of first stage of the airport.

Contractors involved with the new Istanbul airport development

The master plan for the project is developed by Arup, while the contract to build and operate the airport for 25 years was awarded to a consortium comprising of five local companies: Cengiz, Mapa, Limak, Kolin and Kalyon, which submitted the highest price bid of €22.152bn ($30.737bn) in May 2013.

Arup further acted as technical adviser to the winning consortium during the concession bid stage.

The contract for the design of Terminal 1 was awarded to a consortium consisting of Grimshaw, Haptic Architects and Nordic. AECOM and Pininfarina designed the ATC tower.

Istanbul Airport signed a €250m ($285.8m) contract with MNG, PTT, Çelebi Ground Handling, HAVAŞ, Sistem Logistics and Bilin Logistics in July 2017 with regards to cargo city and ground services campus.

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