Turkey: move to new Istanbul airport begins

New Turkish Airlines hub

05 April, 17:02

    (ANSAmed) - ISTANBUL, APRIL 5 - After nearly six months of postponements due to financial and logistical problems, the move from the Ataturk airport to the new airport in Istanbul has started. The new airport was inaugurated last October 29 by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, but only a few flights have landed and departed from the hub.

    The move will last until midnight on Saturday, with the closure of several streets, for an estimated 45 hours, with a reduction of air traffic. According to Turkish Airlines, which will move its new hub to the airport, it is the largest logistical operation of its kind in civil aviation, with the transport of some 47,300 tons of equipment, like transporting an average of 5,000 trucks, in which 1,800 people will be employed.

    The first flight is scheduled to depart Saturday at 2 pm local time for the capital Ankara.

    After 80 years, the airport Ataturk will not be operational for civilian flights. The government plans to turn most of it into a park. The new airport is one of the largest construction works planned by Erdogan for Turkey's growth with plans to turn it into the largest worldwide in a decade, with an estimated capacity of 150-200 million passengers. Its construction, which had an estimated cost of eight billion dollars, was controversial due to deaths on the job and the condition of workers. (ANSAmed).

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