Istanbul IST aims to open third runway in June

(Photo: Istanbul IST Airport)

Istanbul Airport, (IATA: IST) has announced that it is nearing the end of its third runway preparations and plans to declare it operational by June 18. When completed, this third independent runway will make IST Turkey’s first – and Europe’s second airport, after Amsterdam Schiphol – capable of operating three runways in parallel.

The new facility is located to the east of the terminal building airport and its availability will reduce the current domestic taxi times by approximately 50%.

When operational, it will increase the airport’s air traffic capacity from the current 80 landings or take-offs per hour to a minimum of 120. That brings enough capacity to host an average of more than 2,800 aircraft movements per day, while also improving the slot flexibility for the airlines. Simulations have shown that average landing time will decrease from 15 to eleven minutes, while average take-off times will decrease from 22 to 15 minutes. The runway opening will coincide with the introduction of the airport’s second ‘End-Around Taxiway’ which is designed to mitigate congestion at busy times.

The third runway will have CAT III status, just like the other two independent runways. When fully developed, the airport will have five runways, comprising three independent and two standby runways.

Kadri Samsunlu, the airport’s CEO and General Manager commented: “This has been a difficult year for the aviation industry, but we see this compulsory break as an opportunity to maximise the passengers’ travel experience at Istanbul Airport. We expect the stagnation we have been experiencing for the last couple of months to resolve very soon. Our new runway will be immensely helpful in that sense. We have filed an application with the General Directorate of Civil Aviation, declaring that our third independent runway will be ready for flight operations by June 18, 2020. We are profoundly proud to get this phase completed in timely manner, just as has been the case for all stages of construction. There will be serious reductions in domestic taxi times, which had been criticised during our operations. Now, all our passengers will get a perfect customer experience at Istanbul Airport. We will also culminate our claim of superior service quality through excellent comfort and savings of time. In this sense, I would like to emphasise once again that Istanbul Airport is the largest infrastructure investment ever put into practice in the history of Turkey and the most significant economic asset of our nation. Hence, Istanbul Airport will for sure be a locomotive force in the future development of our country.”