I was curious to see new Istanbul Airport yesterday. We had a two-hour layover coming from Boston and going to Tashkent. The airport is typical of President Erdogan’s tenure in office, an absolutely massive infrastructure project. The airport superlatives are as follows:
- projected to be the world’s busiest airport by its completion in 2027; the 200 million annual passengers will surpass Atlanta’s 160 million
- 76.5 kilometers in area with 6 runways and 4 terminals
- cost of 7.5 billion dollars and the deaths of 27 construction workers during the building of the airport
- 1.5 million trees were cut down on the southern shores of the Black Sea to make room for the airport
From our brief time there, it was impressive. The high ceilings of airports outside the USA make them more impressive looking. There were numerous, high quality and inexpensive priced shops, bars and restaurants. We had a nice meal at one of the food courts. I had a lentil soup and quinoa salad and the boys had a home-made pizza. I did notice there were some empty spaces and areas under construction still, both inside and outside the terminal. It has the largest and nicest smoking terrace I’ve ever seen. I remember Ataturk Airport being extremely crowded and the new airport is quite spacious.
I was disappointed to hear that the forests and marshlands were taken out for the airport. I am an avid bird watcher and nature lover and hate to see prime habitat loss. Below is a gallery of photos of the airport.