ANKARA: Istanbul’s new mega airport is a “trademark project” of Turkey, Minister of Transportation, Maritime Affairs and Communications Ahmet Arslan said Friday.
Talking to Anadolu Agency’s Editors Desk in capital Ankara, Arslan said: “It is a prestigious project. It is true. At the same time it is a trademark project of Turkey. At the same time, it is a project that will contribute both to Turkey’s employment and economy.”
Arslan’s remarks came a day after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s aircraft made the first ever landing at Istanbul’s new colossal airport, which is expected to formally open to air traffic on Oct. 29.
The minister said 225,000 people will work at the airport.
“This airport will constitute around 5 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2025,” Arslan said.
About the name of the new airport, Arslan asked: “Why shouldn’t it be named after Recep Tayip Erdogan?,” adding the name would be decided by the president himself.
Istanbul’s new airport will be one of three biggest airports in the world with an annual capacity of 90 million passenger in the first phase.
The third airport in the city — 90 percent of which is already completed — will be the world’s biggest project built from scratch upon completion.
In the first phase, the airport will welcome 90 million passengers annually. In the second phase, which is expected to be completed in 2023, it is projected that the number would rise to 150-250 million.
After the launch of the new airport, the Ataturk Airport on the European side of the city will be replaced by a huge park named “People’s Garden”, Erdogan had announced earlier.
Arslan said “People’s Garden” will serve people with its “magnificent” landscape.
About possible cyber attacks during presidential and parliamentary elections on Sunday, Arslan said: “Not only during the election period, we always ensure cyber security.”
He added precautions in view of the elections have been taken.
“We trained more people with the mindset that there would be more attacks. We have nearly 800-strong anti-cyber attack team,” he said.