The new airport in Istanbul is partially inaugurated with the aspiration to be the largest in the world

It will not assume the Ataturk traffic, without the capacity to continue growing, until the end of December

The new airport in Istanbul is partially opened on Monday with the aim of becoming the largest in the world, for which it is necessary to complete an unprecedented ‘move’ in the history of global aviation and meet expectations that generate many suspicions short term.

The airport, even without an official name, has been designed in successive phases that will occupy a total of 76.5 million square meters. 35 kilometers from the center of Istanbul, the new airfield will start timidly, with just five Turkish Airlines routes, but aims to connect more than 50 national and 250 international destinations.

It will assume the traffic that until now has supported the airport of Ataturk, without capacity already to continue growing. However, the management company does not foresee that the ‘move’ will occur until the end of December, at which time the new facilities could begin to manage some 90 million passengers a year, with a view to reaching 200 million in a decade.

Once finished, it will have more than 500 check-in places, more than 140 boarding gates and 42 kilometers of conveyor belts to move the suitcases inside the facilities, according to the figures provided by the management company (IGA), which boasts to have a “giant” in your hands.

In terms of access, the new airport has as main attraction a subway station yet to be built and that in principle will not be open until 2019, so for now access by public transport must be made by bus: there will be 18 stops in the city.

The facilities will have 40,000 parking spaces in 25 years, as well as hotel rooms at the aerodrome itself.

ECONOMIC IMPACT

The investment has exceeded 10 billion euros, but the CEO of IGA, Kadri Samsunlu, defended last week in the presentation to the press in Istanbul that will result in many benefits for the Turkish economy. Thus, estimates that in 2025 will have generated 225,000 jobs and the economic impact will be around 4.89 percent of GDP.

The public coffers, in addition, would obtain 22,200 million additional euros, according to these figures, which also analyzes the push that the new construction will have for an area still untapped. Only in real estate matters, IGA estimates that 4,400 million dollars (more than 3,800 million euros) of additional value will be generated in this area.

To make this mega-operation possible, more than 4,000 workers have worked – and continue to work – at the foot of the track. Precisely this workforce has been one of the main reasons for concern, after numerous demonstrations have been registered due to lack of security and problems in salary payments.

Samsunlu acknowledged last week that some thirty workers have been killed in these works since its inception in May 2015. Several dozen were arrested last month for staging the largest protests to date.