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World's Largest Airport to Be Built in Turkey

Travelers Today       By    Lena Vazifdar

Updated: Jan 25, 2013 03:52 PM EST

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Istanbul is the top travel destination in the world.(Photo : Flickr)

A new airport in Istanbul, Turkey will be the world's largest.  The new airport will be the third in the city and Bloomberg reported that the current Aturuk International Airport can't take any more passengers.

"At full capacity the new airport will be the largest in the world in terms of passengers," Transport Minister Binali Yildirim said according to The Huffington Post. "We calculate the whole project will cost more than 7 billion euros [$9.4 billion] excluding financing costs."

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UPI reported that the first phase of the airport will open in the summer of 2016. Business Traveler reported that the project will create 120,000 jobs.

Yidrim said to Business Traveler that the airport will be able to hold a capacity of 150 million and will have six runways. He said that it is the "most suitable location between Europe and Asia geographically."

The airport will be located in northern Istanbul on the European side of the city. Currently the city has two airports including Sabiha Gokcen which is located on the Asian side and Ataruk on the south side of Instabul and has the capacity to serve 45 million people.

Fox News reports that the plot is 77 million square meters. Yildirim said at a press conference in Ankara that the tender process will start with ads in Turkish papers on Thursday.

Currently London Heathrow is the world's biggest airport and transports about 70 million passengers a year. Dubai is also a ciy that is expanding their passenger capacity to 90 million by 2018, reported Fox News.

"There has been a great increase in the number of flights to and passengers in Istanbul in the past 10 years. The number of travelers has surpassed Istanbul's population by four times. The ability to improve and expand Ataturk airport is severely limited. Therefore, in order to realize Istanbul's future air-traffic potential and to provide a solution, it is evident that a new airport is needed. This will be the world's biggest airport," Mr. Yildirim said according to Fox News.

Fox News reported that the government will accept bids for the airport project and have an auction on May 3. The winner will get the rights to the airport terminal for 25 years.

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