While Europe continues to grapple with the economic crisis, Turkey's economy is on a rise. The civil aviation industry alone is a clear indicator of the nation's growth. Minister of Transportation, Maritime and Communication Binali Yıldırım explains that this growth has not just surfaced within the past year; the sector has seen significant growth for nine years now and continues to reach from record by record in this arena leaving other nations in its wake.
"When we look at the growth experienced over the past nine years, the figures are striking. We used to transport 33 million passengers on both our domestic and international flights, however now that figure has reached 118 million. This growth streak will continue in 2012. Air transportation is actually a clear determinant of the nation's economy and whether or not there is an economic crisis. From this perspective, it appears that with the continued growth of the sector in Turkey, crisis speculators may not have much to do."
2011 SAW 14.4% GROWTH
According to Minister of Transportation Yıldırım, with 14.4% growth seen in 2011, the sector continues to be on the rise. "The number of plane traffic last year reached 1,331,835. There was also a significant increase in cargo transportation. We now have a total of 1,080 aircrafts. The number of private jets alone has reached 120. In short, we have seen growth in all areas of aviation. At times there were interruptions, but not many. Compared to Europe, we experienced much less cancellations and delays. The reason being that in Europe, operations are halted when weather conditions reach less than -2 degrees. We do not have such stipulations; if the conditions are appropriate, then all necessary inspections are made and if all safety measures are able to be taken then we prefer if possible to have flights take off delayed rather than cancelling them. Undoubtedly, there are serious costs involved for every single cancellation."
Minister Yıldırım also relayed news of the start of efforts to work on a public airport in Diyarbakır. According to Yıldırım, companies have already made offers and within two months time they will be receiving financial proposals.