Turkish officials have announced that Istanbul New Airport is scheduled to begin operations on Wednesday, October 31. At 00:00 (local time) on October 31, Istanbul Atatürk Airport (current IATA airport code IST) will cease scheduled passenger flights, with all operations moving to Istanbul New Airport. The IST airport code will be transferred to Istanbul New Airport when it begins flight operations. An inauguration ceremony is scheduled at Istanbul New Airport on Monday, October 29.
Meanwhile, on Friday, September 14, hundreds of workers ceased work and staged a protest to denounce dangerous working conditions at the Istanbul New Airport. Turkish authorities dispersed the demonstrators using tear gas. Local sources have reported numerous deaths and difficult working conditions at the construction site since work began in May 2015, and workers are demanding improvements in their working and living conditions. In response to Friday's unrest, Turkish officials have said they will meet with the workers to discuss their grievances. Nonetheless, additional related protests remain possible in the coming weeks.
Istanbul New Airport will be located north of Istanbul in Arnavutköy district, approximately 35 km (22 mi) from Atatürk Airport. Once operational, it is expected to see about 90 million passengers pass through each year.
Individuals in Istanbul are advised to avoid all protests due to the risk of violence. More generally, due to the risk of terrorism, individuals should maintain a high degree of vigilance, report any suspicious objects or behavior to the relevant authorities, and be particularly cautious when visiting sites deemed particularly likely to be targeted in an attack (public transportation, train stations, ports, airports, public or government buildings, embassies or consulates, international organizations, schools and universities, religious sites, markets, hotels, and restaurants frequented by foreigners/Westerners, festivals, etc.).