Istanbul Ataturk Airport to only receive planes of heads of state: minister

Once the third airport in Istanbul is commissioned, Ataturk Airport will continue to operate, but, it will only receive planes of heads of state, said Ahmet Arslan, minister of transport, maritime affairs and communications, Turkish media reported Jan. 11.

An exhibition center will also operate at Istanbulchr("39")s Ataturk Airport, he noted.

Touching upon the implementation of the third Istanbul airport project, Arslan noted that presently, the airport is 78 percent ready.

"Construction of terminals has been completed at the third airport and all systems have been tested," the minister said.

Arslan noted that two emergency runways will also be created at the third airport.

Test flights will be launched at the third airport in February. Construction of a parking lot designed for 30,000 cars at the airport will be completed in the same month.

The third airport is being built near the Lake Terkos in northern Istanbul. Initially, it will serve 90 million passengers a year. The first phase of the airport will be commissioned on Oct. 29, 2018. After commissioning, the number of flight destinations in Turkey will increase from 282 to 350. The new airport will annually serve about 200 million passengers.

About 300 passenger and service elevators will be installed at Istanbul's third airport.

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