Turkey launches first European airport built on artificial island

25 May 2015 (Last Updated May 25th, 2015 18:30)

Turkey has opened its new airport on an artificial island off the coast of the Black Sea provinces of Ordu and Giresun.

Turkey has opened its new airport on an artificial island off the coast of the Black Sea provinces of Ordu and Giresun.

Built with an investment of TRY360m ($132.6m), the Ordu-Giresun airport is claimed to be the first European airport and the eighth in the world to be built on a man-made island.

The island airport will serve an estimated two million passengers every year.

The airport was constructed on the artificial island due to unavailability of a suitable location in the region's geographically-challenging provinces, as rugged mountains are an obstacle for the arriving planes, reported Anadolu Agency.

The airport's 20,000m2 terminal will initially serve Istanbul and Ankara flights.

The 3,000m-runway was built with stone mastic asphalt, to prevent damage due to sea waves.

Around 35 million tons of rock was used to fill a 1.8-million-square metre area of sea for the construction of the airport.

A Turkish Airlines flight from Istanbul with 136 passengers was the first plane to land at the airport that was inaugurated by president Recep Tayyip Erdogan and prime minister Ahmet Davutoglu on 22 May.

The construction of the airport had originally been started in 1994 but had to be ceased due to increasing costs. Work restarted in 2011

Turkey aims at having at least 60 operational airports, including the Hakkari-Yüksekova Airport in the southeast along with at least three airports in the southern province of Antalya by 2023.