Turkey is planning to invite a tender for a third airport in Istanbul later this month, following final approval from the country’s planning committee (DTP).
The new airport is required to meet rapidly growing passenger demand in Istanbul, Turkey’s busiest city.
Turkey Transport Minister Binali Yildirim was quoted by Reuters as saying that as soon as the airport project receives approval from DTP, which could be in August, the ministry will announce the tender.
"If everything goes well we will have what we need to complete the tender by the end of the year, and take the necessary steps for construction to begin," Yildirim said.
Turkey has also begun procedures to take over a plot of land in advance of construction the new airport, which will be located on the European side in the northern part of Istanbul near the Black Sea.
The airport will be 80% owned by the public, while the remaining 20% will be acquired through nationalisation.
The new airport is planned to be built on the build-operate-transfer model, for which the country’s high planning commission (YPK) is in the final stages of its decision.
The first phase of the project is expected to be completed by 2015, allowing it the airport handle 90 million passengers every year.
The airport is planning to expanded further to have three runways for simultaneous use, increasing the passenger handling capacity to 150 million.
In 2011, Turkey witnessed 10% rise in tourists to 31.46 million and the country is planning to host nearly 50 million tourists per year by 2023.