Istanbul to be Home of World’s Largest Airport
Turkey announced plans to build the world’s largest airport and have it up and partially running within four years. On Thursday, Turkey’s minister of transport, Binali Yildrim, made public plans for what will be Istanbul’s third airport, citing a “great increase” in the number of travelers to and from Istanbul in the past ten years.
“The ability to improve and expand Ataturk airport is severely limited,” said Yildrim. “This will be the world’s biggest airport.”
On May 3, 2013, Turkey will announce the winning bidder for building and operating the airport.
On Friday, Fraport, the operator of Germany’s biggest airport in Frankfurt, said it is contemplating a bid to operate the new airport.
Once complete, the new Istanbul airport will have a total of six runways and be able to support a capacity of 150 million travelers a year.
The airport will be built in the northern part of the city, on the European side. Yildrim said that the location is “the most geographically suitable” between Europe and Asia.
Construction is estimated to cost over €7 billion, and is expected to create more than 120,000 jobs.
The world’s largest airports today, based on passenger traffic, include Hartsfieldd-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta, Georgia, London Heathrow Airport, and Beijing Capital International Airport.