Turkey has recently opened the world’s biggest airport. The officials of the new Istanbul Airport announced that this airport would become the busiest in the world by 2021. The project planners for the airport estimated that it could handle 90 million passengers in the next two years. The planned expansion of the airport can bring the total number as high as 200 million people. This is double than the previous record holder, the Atlanta Airport in the US. The Turkish Airport was officially opened earlier this week, but it will not be fully operational till January 2019. The total cost on the building of airport was around $11.7 billion.
As a part of the National Republic Day celebrations, the President Recep Tayyip Erdogan opened the Airport. Turkey was celebrating its 95th year, and the officials felt that the opening of the airport was symbolic and promising. Erdogan said, “With the operation of Istanbul Airport, European airspace will have to be restructured.” He said that he expects that the airport will be used for various intercontinental flights. He said he wanted the airport to become a global transit center between Asia, Africa, and Europe.
The government has no plans of shutting down the Ataturk Airport so people who want to travel through that airport can still use it. However, there are plans to transfer its international code IST when the airport begins to grow its capacity. The construction of the airport saw some concerns and controversy as well. During the installation, 30 crew members and workers died. The new Istanbul Airport can out-perform the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport by as many as 96 million passengers each year. The Beijing Capital International Airport will then be pushed to the third most popular airport with 94 million passengers. London’s Heathrow Airport gets 76 million passengers each year and is the fifth most traveled airport in the world.
The Turkish airport has planned phases for expansion. The government is expecting the airport to meet 90 million passengers by 2021. With the development and upgrades, the number is expected to rise to 150 million by 2023. By 2028, it is supposed to hit 200 million passenger capacity. During the expansion, the Ataturk airport will officially be closed for passenger traffic and will exist as a private airfield.