Istanbul is planning a third airport in Istanbul, joining Istanbul Ataturk (IST) and Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen. The proposed new airport, which would include five or six runways, would handle about 100 million passengers annually. The first phase should be completed by 2016; the second phase should open by 2023, expanding capacity to 150 million passengers.
Istanbul’s third airport will likely be built in the Terkos Lake area, Mayor Kadir Topbaş has said.
“Following the advice of our prime minister, we are starting the construction of a new Istanbul airport with five or six runways and a passenger capacity of 100 million in the short term, which will be increased to 150 million,” Topbaş said, adding that Atatürk Airport’s current capacity was 34 million passengers.
Topbaş said the Terkos Lake area, 50 kilometers north of Istanbul on the Black Sea coast, was a very strong possibility for the airport’s location.
Topbaş said Atatürk Airport was insufficient to handle the city’s air traffic, particularly in regards to strong southwestern winds. A third airport in Istanbul, the largest city in the country, has long been on the agenda as Atatürk Airport on the European side and Sabiha Gökçen on the Asian side are struggling to meet the city’s rising demands, particularly as national flag carrier Turkish Airlines boosts its flights and the city attracts more visitors.
Topbaş said the airport would be built on a deserted site to preserve the area’s natural, forested environment, adding that a proposal for the project would likely be initiated by the end of the year.
Topbaş also said the construction of a third bridge to span the Bosphorus in Istanbul would be completed by 2015 or 2016.