A new $11.7 billion airport just opened in Turkey, and it could become one of the world's biggest. Take a look inside the giant hub.

iGAAn aerial rendering of the new Istanbul Airport.
  • Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday opened the new IstanbulAirport, a major public-works project that is part of his 15-year building spree.
  • Costing $US11.7 billion, the new Istanbul Airport is likely to be one of the world’s busiest when it is fully operational.
  • The airport is expected to serve 90 million passengers in the first phase of construction and up to 200 million across three terminals once the fourth phase is completed.
  • “We have completed this project, and we are officially launching the first stage,” Erdogan said at a ceremony, according to The Independent. “We did not build the Istanbul Airport for our country. It is a great service we are offering to the region and the world.”

On Monday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan opened the new Istanbul Airport, a major public-works project that is part of his 15-year building spree.

Costing $US11.7 billion, the new airport is likely to be one of the world’s busiest when it is fully operational.

“We have completed this project, and we are officially launching the first stage,” Erdogan said at a ceremony, according to The Independent. “We did not build the Istanbul Airport for our country. It is a great service we are offering to the region and the world.”

Istanbul Airport is being constructed and operated by iGA, which was awarded a contract in 2013 and will make improvements to the airport over 25 years, according to its website.

The new airport is expected to serve more than 100 airline companies and reach over 300 destinations, according to iGA.

The developer estimates that the airport will serve 90 million passengers in the first phase of construction, which was completed this week, and up to 200 million across three terminals once the fourth phase is completed between 2025 and 2027.


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The airport is set to become “a new center of international aviation,” iGA’s board of directors said.

It will use some of the newest technology emerging in a variety of sectors, according to iGA, including virtual reality, augmented reality, smart kiosks, and social-media-enabled services.

The photos and renderings below showcase the inauguration ceremony of the new Istanbul Airport as well as some interior and exterior shots.


Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan held an inauguration ceremony for the new Istanbul Airport on Monday.

Source: AP


Many foreign dignitaries attended the ceremony, which took place on the 95th anniversary of Turkey’s establishment as a republic.

Source: AP


The airport, which cost $US11.7 billion to build, is the largest public-works project in Turkey’s history.

Source: Haaretz, Independent


The airport will replace Istanbul Ataturk Airport, which will be closed to commercial flights but still used for aviation fairs.

Resul Muslu/shutterstockAtaturk Airport.

Source: Reuters


At 15.5 million square feet, the terminal completed in phase one will be the world’s largest terminal building under one roof.

Source: iGA


The new Istanbul Airport will eventually cover an area of about 823 million square feet.

Source: iGA


It’s north of the city center, with highways, subways, bus terminals, and speed rail among the transportation options.

Source: iGA


Here are some renderings of the project from a 3D video produced by the operator of the airport, iGA.

Source: iGA


The architectural style of the terminals will reflect the style found in Istanbul’s mosques, baths, domes, and other historic buildings and monuments.

Source: iGA


At the opening ceremony, Erdogan said: “We did not build the Istanbul Airport for our country. It is a great service we are offering to the region and the world.”

Source: Independent


The new airport is designed to handle as many as 200 million passengers a year once all four phases of construction are completed.

Source: iGA


In its first phase, the airport expects 90 million passengers a year. In comparison, O’Hare International Airport in Chicago, the second-busiest airport in the US, saw 79 million passengers last year.

Source: Business Insider, iGA


Once finished, the airport will have a 570,000-square-foot duty-free complex, which would be the largest duty-free shopping area in the world.

Source: iGA


The developer said it would hire 1.5 million people once the airport launches.

Source: iGA


The new Istanbul Airport will host flights to more than 350 destinations and feature 143 passenger boarding bridges.

Source: iGA


The airport will have 468 check-in desks, 228 passport-control counters, and 51 bag-drop units.

Source: iGA


The air-traffic-control tower is inspired by the tulip, a symbol of Turkish-Islamic identity and history.

Source: iGA


Here’s a look at the control tower from a different angle.


The first flight took place on Wednesday, to the Turkish capital of Ankara. It will be followed by flights to Azerbaijan and Cyprus.

Source: AP


The airport is set to be fully operational by the end of December, though that date was pushed back a couple of months.

Source: Reuters


The developer’s board of directors said it hoped the airport would “become the meeting point of five continents, where the East and the West meet.”

iGAAn aerial rendering of the new Istanbul Airport.

Source: iGA

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