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Istanbul Airport’s third parallel runway ready for take-off


It might not be needed just now, but Istanbul Airport hopes to get the green light to officially open its fifth runway this summer.

The new $10.2 billion gateway wants to open its third independent parallel runway on June 18 to ensure that it is even better equipped to handle daily operations when aviation returns to some form of normality once the coronavirus crisis is over.

The airport is currently waiting on approval to open the runway from Turkey’s Directorate of Civil Aviation.

When it opens, Istanbul Airport will become Turkey’s first and only Europe’s second airport capable of operating three independent parallel runways after Amsterdam Schiphol.

According to the airport, once put into operation, the new CAT III runway – located east of the terminal – will reduce domestic taxi times by approximately 50%.

Simulations have shown that average landing time will decrease from 15 to 11 minutes, while average take-off times will decrease from 22 to 15 minutes.

It will become Istanbul Airport’s fifth fully operational runway as the gateway already boasts two parallel runways and two standby runways, ensuring that it is capable of handling up to 120 aircraft movements per hour – up from 80 today.

Kadri Samsunlu, CEO and general manager of İGA Airport Operation Inc, said: “This has been a difficult year for the aviation industry, but we see this compulsory break as an opportunity to maximise the passengers’ travel experience at Istanbul Airport.

“We expect the stagnation we have been experiencing for the last couple of months to resolve very soon. Our new runway will be immensely helpful in that sense.

“We have filed an application with the General Directorate of Civil Aviation, declaring that our third independent runway will be ready for flight operations by June 18 2020. We are profoundly proud to get this phase completed in timely manner, just as has been the case for all stages of construction.”

He added: “There will be serious reductions in domestic taxi times, which had been criticised during our operations. Now, all our passengers will get a perfect customer experience at Istanbul Airport.

“We will also culminate our claim of superior service quality through excellent comfort and savings of time. In this sense, I would like to emphasise once again that Istanbul Airport is the largest infrastructure investment ever put into practice in the history of Turkey and the most significant economic asset of our nation.”

Hence, Istanbul Airport will for sure be a locomotive force in the future development of our country.”

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