Istanbul Airport (Turkish original name: İstanbul Havalimanı) is the main international airport serving Istanbul, Turkey. It is located in the Arnavutköy district on the European side of the city.
All scheduled commercial passenger flights were transferred from Istanbul Ataturk Airport to Istanbul Airport on 6 April 2019, following the closure of Istanbul Atatürk Airport for scheduled passenger flights. The IATA (International Air Transport Association) airport code IST was also transferred to the new airport. Once fully completed, it will accommodate 200 million passengers a year.
Due to a lack of space to construct an additional runway at Istanbul Atatürk Airport, airport growth being restricted due to the growth of the city, the Turkish Airport Authority not allowing additional cargo or charter flights to the airport, and worsening air traffic congestion, it was decided to construct a new airport to serve Istanbul. Furthermore, due to a lack of slot capacity and parking spaces, some of Turkish Airlines’ aircraft were based in Sabiha Gökçen Airport which itself is already at a maximum terminal capacity of 25 million passengers and handled 28 million passengers in 2015 after posting traffic growth rates averaging over 20% a year since 2013.
Atatürk Airport was one of the busiest airports in Europe. Since 2013, it has ranked among the five busiest airports in Europe by passenger traffic. In 2017, the two Istanbul airports handled over 100 million passengers. In terms of area airports, the six London-area airports serve more than 150 million passengers a year, while the three Paris-area airports serve around 100 million passengers a year.
It was decided to construct the new airport at the intersection of roads to Arnavutköy, Göktürk, and Çatalca, north of central Istanbul and between the Black Sea coast towns of Yeniköy, Tayakadın and Akpınar.
Istanbul New Airport is one of the most modern and largest airports in the world, situated northwest of the city in the district of Arnavutköy. The airport was officially opened by the Turkish president Erdogan on 29 October 2018, the national day in Turkey. In the weekend of 6 April 2019, it replaced Istanbul Atatürk Airport as the primary passenger airport serving Istanbul.
The airport is the second largest in the world (potentially) after Al Maktoum International Airport in Dubai. Today, the airport can handle 90 million passengers per year. In the future, Istanbul New Airport will be able to handle 200 million passengers per year. The national flag carrier Turkish Airlines is responsible for 80% of the total number of flights at Istanbul Airport.
Where is Istanbul New Airport situated?
Istanbul’s newest airport is located northwest of the city. The national road D020 is a short distance from the airport, making it easy to reach the airport by car.
How many terminals does Istanbul New Airport have?
Istanbul New Airport has one very large and modern terminal, consisting of a Departure Level (Departure passenger floor) and an Arrival Level (Arrival passenger floor). A second smaller terminal will be opened in 2025.
The Departures hall of Istanbul New Airport is accessible through seven entrance doors, 1 and 2 for domestic flights (İç Hatlar), 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 for international flights (Dış Hatlar). If you fly with Turkish Airlines, you should take entrance 3, 4 or 5. The check-in desks of all other international carriers are the easiest to reach via doors 6 and 7.
The opening ceremony took place on 29 October 2018, scheduled so as to coincide with the 95th anniversary of the proclamation of the Turkish Republic. The airport had been unofficially known as ‘Istanbul New Airport‘ during construction – the new official name of ‘Istanbul Airport‘ was announced at the opening ceremony. The first flight from the airport was Turkish Airlines flight TK2124 to the Turkish capital Ankara on 31 October 2018. On 1 November 2018, five daily flights began to arrive and depart from the airport: from Ankara, Antalya, Baku, North Nicosia, and İzmir, followed by Adana and Trabzon starting in December.
Before the full transfer, all flights were operated exclusively by Turkish Airlines. Regularly scheduled flights to all of the new airport’s destinations continued to depart from Atatürk and Sabiha Gökçen airports alongside these trial flights. It was originally planned that on 31 December 2018, all equipment from Atatürk Airport would be transferred to the new airport via the O-7 Motorway. As of 17 January 2019, the transfer phase was set to start 1 March 2019. However, on 25 February, the transfer phase was moved a fourth time to 5 April 2019.
The full transfer of all scheduled commercial passenger flights from Istanbul Ataturk Airport to the new Istanbul Airport took place on 6 April 2019 between 02:00 and 14:00. Hundreds of trucks carried more than 10,000 pieces of equipment, weighing about 44 tons were moved to the new airport over 41 hours. Istanbul Ataturk Airport’s old IATA code IST was also transferred to the new airport.
The airport currently has one terminal in service for domestic and international flights and four runways are currently in operation. The two 17/35 runways are both 4,100 metres (13,451 feet) long, while the 16/34 runways are both 3,750 metres (12,303 feet) long. Runways 17L/35R and 16R/34L are 60 metres (197 feet) wide, while 17R/35L and 16L/34R are 45 metres (148 feet) wide. All runway surfaces are asphalt.
The airport features a total of five concourses lettered A, B, D, F, and G with a total of 143 passenger boarding bridges. Concourse G, which is located in the southeast, is reserved solely for domestic flights. 3 passenger boarding bridges of Concourse F which is direct to the north of Concourse G has also been allocated for domestic flights. Concourses A, B, D, and F will be used for international flights. The C and E concourses connect directly to the main terminal and are therefore not independent concourses. Until 1 January 2019, all initial Turkish Airlines flights departed from concourses F and G.
3,500 security personnel and a total of 1,850 police, including 750 immigration officers, are expected to provide the airport’s security. The site’s perimeter will be protected using ground radar, fixed CCTV cameras every 60 meters, pan-tilt-zoom cameras every 360 meters, thermal cameras and fiber optic sensors every 720 meters. The active terminal building uses up to 9,000 CCTV cameras.
How to get to Istanbul Airport – Transportation
The distance from Istanbul New Airport to the centre of Istanbul is 50 kilometres. By car, it takes 60 minutes to get to the centre of Istanbul.
It is possible to travel to and from Istanbul New Airport by public transport. There is also regular public transportation for sure, but there is a reason why we put this almost last in the list. Although a bit cheaper, it is rather adventurous. First of all, you may find yourself struggling with your luggage in crowded vehicles during rush hour. Secondly, the only line more or less suitable for tourists is the H2: New Istanbul Airport – Mecidiyeköy. From there you must either take a taxi or take the metro to reach your hotel, which may include taking some stairs in case elevators or escalators are out of order. Moreover, the operating hours are only between 6 am and midnight.
In the future, there will be a metro line. However, the M11 is still being constructed and planned to start operating at the end of 2019. It will start from Gayrettepe and integrate with the Metrobus line, M2 Yenikapı-Hacıosman metro line (currently active) and M7 Kabataş-Mahmutbey line (still being constructed-first section, Mecidiyeköy-Mahmutbey, is projected to launch in the last quarter of 2019
Airport Shuttle Havaist
Havaist is a new airport shuttle service operating several bus lines between the new Istanbul airport and main centres of all over Istanbul.
To reach Taksim, it’s really straightforward. You take the line IST 19: New Istanbul Airport – Beşiktaş – Taksim (which also stops at Zincirlikuyu and 4. Levent Metro) and you get off at the last stop, in front of the Point Hotel, close to Taksim square. From there you can either walk to your hotel, take a taxi or the metro.
To reach Sultanahmet, Beşiktaş, or Yenikapı, just take the line that has the respective districts as its (final) destination.
A taxi is a quickest and most comfortable way to get to and from Istanbul New Airport. The price of a taxi ride from the airport to the centre of Istanbul is about to TRY 105-120 depends on traffic jam. Book your taxi at İstanbul New Airport and discover the comfort of pre-booked taxis.
At Istanbul New Airport you can rent a car from car rental companies, -such as Europcar, National (Enterprise Holdings), Enterprise, Alamo (Enterprise Holdings), Hertz, Budget, Avis, Sixt and local providers. It is most convenient to find and book a car well in advance. By doing so, you can save money and time at the airport.
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