Authorities in Turkey have unveiled plans to build the largest airport in the world. The airport will be built in Istanbul, Turkey’s largest city, and is estimated to cost over €7 billion.
Turkey’s minister for transport, maritime affair and communication, Binali Yildrim, confirmed the plans this week. The airport will be constructed on 77 million square metres of land just outside the city, and will have six runways. Once complete, the airport will have the capacity to hold 150 million passengers a year. "At full capacity the new airport will be the largest in the world in terms of passengers," stated Yildrim.
The new airport will become Istanbul's third and is set to be built in four stages. The initial stage, said to be complete by 2017, will see the airport being able to accommodate 90 million passengers a year, the same as the current capacity of the world’s busiest airport, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International.
The airport is part of Turkey’s “Integrated Urban Transport Master Plan” that has been put in place as part of its bid for the 2020 Olympic Games. Yildrim said “it is obvious a new airport is needed," in order to help Turkey's bid for the Olympics.
Talking about the location of the airport, Yildrim said it was the “most suitable location between Europe and Asia geographically.” The new airport will also provide Turkish Airlines the space it needs to further expand its operations, with the airline currently flying to 216 destinations.
Other projects planned for the city as part of the transport plan include a high speed train to the country's capital, Ankara and a third bridge over Bosphorus.