Istanbul Airport will open its third runway on Sunday to raise the capacity for plane landings and departures, the Turkish Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Adil Karaismailoğlu said Friday.
"The landing capacity will rise by 50% and taxi times will also drop by half after the opening of the new runway, " Karaismailoğlu told Anadolu Agency (AA).
Officially opened in a grand ceremony on Oct. 29, 2018, the anniversary of the Turkish republic's proclamation in 1923, the airport became fully operational on April 6, 2019. In its first full year, the airport hosted 74 airlines and welcomed more than 64 million passengers.
It can handle 90 million passengers a year in its current phase of development and can jump to a potential capacity of 200 million after the completion of all four phases with six runways by 2028.
Istanbul Airport has become a global hub with its strong infrastructure, unique architecture and high technology, Karaismailoğlu said.
"The construction of the third runway has been completed; it will be opened on June 14 with a ceremony that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan will attend," he added.
The new runway will enable simultaneous landing and departing in the airport, the minister said. He added that simultaneous landing and departure on three runways are available in just a few airports globally.
After the opening of the new runway, the airport will have three independent runways and five operational runways, he said.
The airport's third parallel runway was being constructed within an area of 76.5 million square meters (29.5 square miles) located on the coast of the Black Sea between the Yeniköy and Akpınar regions. Once the runway becomes operational, the triple parallel runway operation, used at just a few airports in the world, will be implemented.