On the streets of Istanbul, the construction of the new airport, located near the confluence ofthe Bosporus and the Black Sea, is a contentious issue. The project is part of President Erdogan’s ambitious infrastructure development project that he hopes will bolster Turkey’s position in regional and global markets. And with Turkish Cargo growing at an impressive rate over the last decade, increased air connectivity is central to this plan.
Some opponents in Turkey are alarmed at the ecological impact, while others object to it’s the project’s hefty US$11 billion price tag. Recently, a representative for the airport’s operator, IGA, detailed the scope of the tentatively named Istanbul New Airport’s air cargo capacity. Regardless of the costs, the new airport is set to reconfigure both the Turkish and regional air cargo market.
At the close of the first quarter of 2016, Daily Sabah announced that 25 percent of construction was complete, with $2.02 billion spent along the way. During the first phase of construction, IGA has announced that work is underway on a Cargo/Logistics center over an area of 1.4 million square meters. During later phases of expansion, these facilities will be expanded to 1.6 million square meters.
In March 2015, DHL signed a memorandum of understanding to take over 200,000 square meters to offer express cargo services at the airport. IGA is currently in negotiations with other national and international firms. The annual reversible cargo capacity for the first phase will be maximum 5.5 million tonnes. In its final form, the Cargo/Logistics center could handle up to 6 million tonnes of capacity.
The facility will be large enough for more than 30 widebody freighters to park simultaneously. IGA also stressed that the area will be far from passenger terminals and entrances, with airside service tunnels running under runways and taxiways.