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Istanbul Airport to become fully operational this weekend

Istanbul, airport

Istanbul Airport will this weekend begin its reign as the home of Turkish civil aviation as the country’s Ataturk Airport is closed down to commercial flights.

The newly-built airport, anticipated to become the world’s largest, will become fully operational from Sunday after authorities transport 10,000 pieces of equipment from Atatürk Airport in a two-day operation.

A transfer of operations from Atatürk Airport to Istanbul Airport will be completed in 45 hours, Turkish transport and infrastructure minister Cahit Turhan said.

Atatürk International Airport will then no longer serve commercial flights following the relocation operation.

“Atatürk Airport will host the last flight at 2am on April 6 [local time]. From that day on, the venues of Atatürk Airport will serve as an exhibition area, a public park and training area,” Turhan confirmed.

Istanbul Airport officially opened in late October of last year – but at present it is only running a few Turkish Airline flights.

However, construction of the airport’s second terminal is still ongoing and is expected to be completed by 2027, at which point it will have two terminals with a capacity of 200M passengers a year.

The total cost of the project to build Istanbul Airport has been marked at $12bn (£9.15bn).

In 2016, designs by engineering giant Aecom and Italian designers Pininfarina were chosen for an air traffic control tower at the airport.

Operator IGA chose the joint submission for the structure at Istanbul New Airport. It was selected from a strong shortlist that included Zaha Hadid and RMJM.

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