Turkey Opens New Airport, Soon to Become Biggest in the World

A new $11.7 billion airport outside Istanbul opened today. Officials say will be one of the world’s busiest, though delays mean it will not be fully operational until January. Turkey claims it will be the biggest in the world, once fully completed. The airport will be able to handle 90 million passengers a year, and can be expanded to accommodate as many as 200 million. That’s almost double the traffic at world’s biggest airport currently, Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson, which handles 103,902,992 passengers a year.

Turkey Opens New Airport

For the first two months, however, it will be used for just a few flights within Turkey and to Azerbaijan and northern Cyprus.

The airport has been dogged by criticism over working conditions and safety standards. In February, the labor ministry said 27 workers had died since construction started in 2015, and last month police detained hundreds of protesting workers.

Ataturk Airport will be closed to commercial flights once operations move the new airport.

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