Statement of Atatürk Airport by Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality

When Was Ataturk Airport Built? What Was Its Old Name? Why Is It Being Destroyed?
Ataturk Airport

It has been seen in the media that the demolition of a part of Atatürk Airport, including the runway, which was closed to civil flights with the administrative decision on April 7, 2019, began without any changes in the zoning plan, without a law, without a tender and with an arbitrary practice.

As it is known, Atatürk Airport was built for the first time in 1912, it is one of the first airports in the world, inherited from the Ottoman Empire. In addition to being a national wealth that reached a passenger capacity of approximately 70 million at the time of its closure to civil flights, it also became the center of billions of dollars of infrastructure and tourism investments.

As Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality, we believe that Atatürk Airport should be protected with its current structure as an alternative insurance for the future needs of our city and the security of 16 million Istanbul residents against possible disasters, and should be handled with a participatory process according to future scenarios. It is obvious that a scenario where three airports will work together, instead of destroying this historical and national value, would be healthier in terms of the macroform of the city.

We would like to share with our people the strategic results of our many workshops and collective mind meetings we have organized on this subject:


1. Istanbul Airport, which directs the development of the city to the north and creates a justification and support for projects such as Kanal Istanbul that threatens the future of Istanbul, should be frozen in its current state and its growth should be prevented. It is possible to meet the future capacity needs of our city with Atatürk Airport.

We need both Atatürk Airport and green areas. Atatürk Airport should be preserved as the supporting airport of Istanbul, and the north of the city and its various valleys should be brought to the service of our people with the resources and cooperation of both the central and local administrations.

3. With Atatürk Airport, İstanbul Airport and Sabiha Gökçen Airport, İstanbul is an important and powerful part of the civil aviation infrastructure. It will be able to take a share of approximately 28% in meeting the airline transportation capacity that Istanbul will need in the future.


4. Istanbul Airport has realized only 90% of its planned area according to 200 million passengers/year with its current passenger capacity of 50 million/year. There are natural areas and forest areas in the area where the other stages will be realized. Therefore, the first thing to do is to stop and cancel the expansion stages of Istanbul Airport. The expansion phase of Sabiha Gökçen Airport, which has already been designed, should be completed and a total capacity of 150 million passengers/year should be reached in Istanbul.

5. Atatürk Airport, Istanbul Airport and Sabiha Gökçen Airport will be able to be operated together with flight corridors to be established with correct technical planning. Many world cities with more than one airport should be taken as an example in this regard.


6. Considering that the remaining amount of investments to be made in Istanbul Airport is approximately 5 billion Euros, and the current approximate value of Atatürk Airport is approximately 4 billion Euros, an economic value of approximately 9 billion Euros will not be wasted with the opening of Atatürk Airport for civil aviation use, this budget can be used in favor of our citizens in need. In addition, it will be possible to prevent the loss of approximately 580 million Euros per year from the hotels and commercial enterprises that have been built around Atatürk Airport over the years.

7. In this process, Atatürk Airport, which will further improve the accessibility capacity of Atatürk Airport – Halkalı It will be possible to connect 3 airports to each other.


8. If Atatürk Airport is not closed, it will be able to use it as a backup square of the 3rd Airport. On some days in winter, when the Black Sea coastline, where the 3rd Airport is located, is covered with a dense layer of fog, where the visibility decreases to zero; Florya, Yesilkoy region can be open. When the meteorological records are examined, it can be determined on which days of the winter months the north of Istanbul is foggy and the south is clear. In such cases, the planes that have difficulty landing at the 3rd airport will be able to be diverted to Atatürk Airport in the center of the city, without the need to go to distant spare airports.

9. Existing airport structures can be easily opened to public use, with flexible uses, until the need for capacity arises. When the need arises, it will be possible to convert it as a terminal again.

📩 18/05/2022 11:48

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