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Istanbul Airport City to draw investments worth 6 billion euros

ŞEYMA ERAZ @seymaeraz
CANNES
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Istanbul Airport City to draw investments worth 6 billion euros

Istanbul Grand Airport company, which is building the world's largest airport to be opened in 2018, is preparing to build a trade center with an investment worth 6 billion euros located near Istanbul's third airport

Istanbul Airport City, an urban development trade center project located near the Istanbul's third airport that will include hotels, offices, malls, and social living areas as well as fair and event zones, is expected to draw investments worth 6 billion euros. The Istanbul Grand Airport (IGA) company, the consortium carrying out the construction of the airport, launched the project during last week's Marche International Des Professionnels De L'Immobilier (MIPIM) 2017, the world's largest and most prestigious real estate fair.

Once completed, the new airport will have an annual capacity of 200 million passengers, claiming first place among the world's largest airports, built from scratch.

With the capacity to serve 90 million passengers a year, the first stage of the airport and the Airport City project will enter service next year.

The Airport City will be located near the main terminal and the parking area, and will be constructed simultaneously with the terminal. The plan is to open the first stage of the airport and the airport city at the same time.

The IGA, who are working on the airport and will operate it in a build-operate-transfer model over 25 years, will do the same for the Istanbul Airport City over a period of 49 years.

The first stage of the complex will be a 420,000-square-meter space, with two more sections to follow, the East Part and the T2 Part. Once it is completed, the complex area will span over a total of 1.51 million square meters.

"As IGA, our development strategy is to act as the master developer and we are open to develop these assets with sub-developers or co-developers and create a business model based on mutual benefit," told IGA Executive Committee Member Mehmet Kalyoncu at a press conference in Cannes.

Since the IGA will be the sole group responsible for the project, sub-developers or co-developers will not need to coordinate with any governmental institutions for construction permits or any other legal procedures to invest and realize a project in Istanbul Airport City. The IGA will be the only contact that the investors will need.

"We want developers to focus on developing the best projects, rather than wasting time in bureaucracy," Kalyoncu explained.

Connection to Kanal Istanbul

Meanwhile, IGA Executive Chairman Hüseyin Keskin underlined that Istanbul New Airport will have links to Canal Istanbul, a project known to the public by its official name "Kanal Istanbul" and will be realized on the European side of Istanbul.

The Kanal Istanbul project aims to build a sea-level waterway connecting the Black Sea to the Marmara Sea. The waterway's length will be around 40 to 45 kilometers and will have a width of between 145 and 150 meters on the surface. Along with the waterway, when the planned airport and roads and other similar infrastructure projects are considered, an investment of around $50 billion will be required to successfully accomplish it.

Keskin said Kanal Istanbul will host around 1.5 million people around it. Kanal Istanbul and Istanbul New Airport will have direct links and the two projects will complement each other. He also underlined that investors, who are looking to reap benefit from Istanbul Airport City project, will gain the most.

Istanbul New Airport scheduled to open in 2018

The first stage of construction of Istanbul New Airport is currently 42 percent complete, marking a significant milestone in the construction of the world's largest airport. Construction work at the 10.2 billion euro ($10.81 billion) project is currently at 42 percent, with the first phase expected to be finished in 2018.

The third airport in Istanbul and the largest in the world, Istanbul New Airport will have the capacity to host 90 million travelers by the end of the first stage of construction and 200 million upon completion, making it the world's largest transportation hub on the largest plot of land ever designated for an airport facility.

As previously reported, a new metro line that will connect Istanbul's third airport to the city's center and pass through Istanbul's six districts is being built by the Ministry of Transportation, Maritime and Communications. The construction of the 13-station metro line has an estimated cost of TL 4.9 billion.

One hundred companies, 350 destinations

The airport would provide opportunities for flights to more than 350 destinations for nearly 100 airline companies. According to the best-case scenario, as of 2025 a total of 120 million passengers, including 35.5 million domestic flights and 84.9 million international flights, are expected to be operated in and out of the airport. While the passenger traffic expectation was 120 million passengers in 2025, 69 percent of the passengers were expected to travel internationally, while 31 percent were expected to travel on domestic routes.

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