Today sees the opening of the first phase of Istanbul New Airport. When completed, this infrastructure colossus – which replaces the aging Atatürk International Airport – will become the largest airport in the world.
Covering over 76,5 million square meters, Istanbul New Airport will feature six runways, an annual passenger capacity of 200 million, an air cargo capacity of 2.5 million tons a year in the first phase, capable of increasing to 5.5 million tons a year in the second and third phases, and 100 airlines flying to around 300 destinations. The resulting strengthening of regional connectivity, is expected to be a boon for Turkish exporters, increasing their reach to global markets and contributing an estimated 5 percent to GDP.
What's more, Hüseyin Keskin, former CEO of İGA Airport Operation, believes that Istanbul New Airport will create an “aerial” Silk Road, enabling countries such as India and China to connect more easily with Istanbul. “Collaborating with global actors whose joint trade activities date back to centuries ago, we will generate new opportunities and bring fresh breath to competition not only in Turkey but across the world,” he said. Because Istanbul is aiming to become a center for global air freight, DHL Express is planning to open a 42,000 square-meter facility at the airport, complete with support units, at the end of 2019 or early 2020.