ISTANBUL, April 13 (Xinhua) — The Istanbul new airport being constructed is expected to be a new aviation hub in the world, a Turkish minister said on Friday.
“The global aviation sector has shifted toward the eastern part of the world, mostly due to the growth of Asian countries, such as China and India,” Ahmet Arslan, Turkey’s Minister of Transport, Maritime and Communication, told reporters at the new airport site.
He said the shift in the sector has forced Turkey to become a global player, thanks to its fast-growing aviation industry and unique geographical location.
“These developments give significant importance to Istanbul’s new airport, which will be the world’s largest,” said the minister.
According to Arslan, 85 percent of the initial phase of the new airport has been completed and it is scheduled to be operational on Oct. 29 to serve 90 million passengers.
It has the capacity to host 200 million travellers a year offering service to over 100 airlines covering 350 destinations around the world when all the phases of the project are completed.
The new airport, which covers an area of 76.5 million squares meters, costs 12 billion U.S. dollars, the minister said.
“The project has altered the entire land which was covered by marsh due to the presence of coal mines, providing job opportunities for at least 100,000 people,” he said, noting the figure will go up to 225,000 after the construction is finished.