The first phase of the new Istanbul Airport, which is set to be the largest airport in the world, recently opened with an elaborate ceremony on 29 October.
Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan led the proceedings on the 95th anniversary of the foundation of the Republic of Turkey. The airport’s first phase consists of a main terminal building of 1.4m sqm, two runways, an air traffic control tower and supporting buildings.
In attendance at the opening were the Presidents of Pakistan, Serbia, Albania and Kosova, as well as the Prime Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, and Moldova. The opening of the airport will be a boon for business events and meetings business in the region.
Almost 200,000 workers contributed to the construction of the airport’s first phase, which was completed in just 42 months. The opening was described as a “milestone in world engineering history”.
The US$11bn airport is the most expensive public works project in Turkey’s history. It will have capacity to serve 200m passengers per year once all phases of construction are complete.
Turkish President Erdoğan commented: “We have completed this project, and we are officially launching the first stage. We did not build the Istanbul airport for our country. It is a great service we are offering to the region and the world.”