Istanbul Airport hosted nearly 72.9 million passengers, including 52 million international travelers, in its first two years of service.
The huge transportation hub was built on a total area of 76.5 million square meters (823 million square feet) and opened in October 2018.
Its inauguration was attended by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, then-Parliament speaker Binali Yıldırım and 50 high-level dignitaries from all over the world. It is one of the biggest construction projects in the history of the Turkish republic.
A total of 485,971 flights, including 134,171 domestic and 351,800 international, were carried out from Istanbul Airport in two years.
Completed in just 42 months, the first phase of the airport was built at a cost of 6 billion euros ($6.72 billion) under a public-private partnership (PPP) model by a consortium of Turkey's leading contractors Limak, Kolin, Cengiz, Mapa and Kalyon.
The consortium will pay 1.1 billion euros annually for 25 years. The project represents a total economic size of 32.4 billion euros, excluding taxes. This figure constitutes an investment cost of 10.2 billion euros and 22.2 billion euros for rental costs to be paid to the government.
Prior to Istanbul Airport, the city had two other airports, namely Sabiha Gökçen Airport on its Anatolian side and Atatürk Airport on the European side.
Atatürk Airport served some 68 million passengers in 2018, its last year in operation. Sabiha Gökçen, on the other hand, currently has the capacity to welcome 31 million passengers annually.
The new airport can handle 90 million passengers a year at the current phase of development. However, it will be able to host a staggering 200 million passengers annually once completed.
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