Istanbul Airport's financing 'inspiration for Poland'

DAILY SABAH WITH AA
ISTANBUL
Published 23.09.2019 00:00

Poland's Deputy Infrastructure Minister Mikolaj Wild has dubbed the financial structure of Istanbul Airport, the biggest public-private partnership (PPP) project in Europe, as "inspiring."

Wild's comment comes after Polish officials examined the details of the airport's financial aspects, as the country itself prepares to build a Central Airport near the capital Warsaw.

The deputy minister himself is in charge of the project, set to be built in a southwest direction, 45 kilometers outside Warsaw. Initially, it will have the capacity to handle 45 million passengers annually.

"It will be interesting for us to know how this [Istanbul Airport] has been achieved. The financial structure of Istanbul Airport is very inspiring for us. We have also discussed scopes of cooperation with the companies involved in the project in Istanbul. Some companies consider Istanbul Airport as their best project. We have also looked at the negative aspects. Istanbul Airport will be the closest criteria for us," Wild told Anadolu Agency (AA).

The first stage of the airport cost 6 billion euros ($6.61 billion) and took nearly three years to build through the PPP model. The first phase was opened on Oct. 29 last year and commercial flights started early November.

PPP is an alternative financing model for the construction of mega-scale infrastructure investments, including highways, bridges, airports and hospitals. It expedites the completion process of investments and improves the service quality of these projects with the participation of the private sector while decreasing the burden on the public budget and reduces costs.

Istanbul Airport can currently handle 90 million passengers annually but will serve 200 million passengers a year once all four phases with six runways are completed by 2028.

It is set to become a global aviation hub, hosting more than 100 airlines and flights to over 300 destinations around the world.

Pointing out Turkish Airlines' (THY) active presence in Eastern Europe, Wild said they were in contact with THY and another Turkish company to provide ground services at the Central Airport, which will be one of Europe's largest.

According to Wild, Poland is defined as the gateway from the East to the European Union (EU) and last year, it was only second to China in term of growth in air transport.

"We want to benefit from this by increasing our capacity. We also want to cooperate with other airports around the world. One of them is Istanbul Airport," he added.

The deputy minister also emphasized that they did not agree with the analyses that Poland's Central Airport would be a competitor to Istanbul Airport. "The reason for this is that the two countries are located in different geographical regions and our goal is to attract passengers within the EU." Expressing satisfaction with the Turkish company Gülermak Inc., which has undertaken important work in Poland's construction sector, particularly the construction of Warsaw subway, Wild called on other Turkish companies to form partnerships in the country's logistics investments worth 90 billion euros.

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