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When Does Istanbul New Airport Open? 29 October 2018

The long awaited, if not rather underwhelmingly named Istanbul New Airport is set to open towards the tail end of 2018, the 29th October. The staged project is set to bring about a new world order in aviation as Turkey targets the worlds biggest (or at least busiest) airport accolade. As with all new major airport like Dubai’s Al Maktoum Airport and Qatar’s Hamad Airport, it isn’t without risk as neither have yet lived up to the initial hype and expectation and numbers have fallen short of expectation. However as with any major civil engineering project they are often delivered in stages and this is also true to Istanbul New Airport.

An ambitious construction timeframe of just 42 months (3.5 years) was allowed for phase 1. Whilst a long time in the planning, construction works started in May 2015 and as of August 2018 (39 months into the programme), the airport is said to be 95% complete. Indeed, testing of its facilities and navigational systems have been underway for months in preparation for its maiden commercial flights to arrive later in the year. Whilst a date has not been fixed as yet, the Turkish government will be keen to ensure that deadlines are met to instill confidence in the project moving forward.

The old Ataturk airport will remain open and all services will continue to be provided until such time that Istanbul New Airport is operational, indeed they cannot run side by side as the new airport is even taking the IATA code from Ataturk and will also be officially recognised as IST. There is a planned 48 hour migration period from the old IST to the new IST. If you have booked a flight or rental car from Instanbul Ataturk Airport for 2019, you’ll likely receive notification that your service has been transferred to Istanbul New Airport, however a smooth transition should follow, if you have any concerns, please contact your airline or ask us about your rental car arrangements. From 2019 however we will have a full range of Istanbul New Airport car rental available to book directly from our website, handily still referenced as IST.

Istanbul New Airport Statistics;

  • 1 – Air Traffic Control Tower
  • 4 – Terminals
  • 6 – runways
  • 16 - Taxiways
  • 165 – airport jet bridges
  • 500 – aircraft parking capacity
  • 70,000 – Space car park (indoor and outdoor)
  • 1.5 million – m2 of indoor area
  • 2.5 million - trees affected, 650k cut down, 1.8 million relocated
  • 90 million - Passenger Capacity at stage 1
  • 120 million – Passenger Capacity at stage 3
  • 150 million – Passenger capacity at completion
  • 342 million – Passengers over 12 years guaranteed by Turkish Government to operator.
  • 7 Billion – Estimated projected cost in EUR
Istanbul New Airport Statistics

Istanbul Airport Timeline

  • Stage 1 (90 million passenger capacity) – Completion Winter 2018
  • Stage 2 – New runway + 3 taxiways
  • Stage 3 – New terminal for another 30 million passengers + 1 runway + 1 taxiway
  • Stage 4 – New terminal for another 30 million passengers + runway
  • Final Stage – (150 million passenger capacity) – Completed before 2030
Istanbul New Airport open
Phil Partridge
Posted: August 23, 2018 by Phil Partridge
About the Author -

Travel writer, car rental guru, Phil has rented cars all over the world and shares his knowledge and experience on the Rhinocarhire.com Blog. Favourite country to visit: France.

Last updated: Monday, November 11, 2019
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