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11 Oct 2018 | 02:53 AM UTC

Turkey: Full operations at Istanbul New Airport likely delayed until December /update 2

Turkey News Alert

Full operations at Istanbul New Airport to be delayed until late December 2018; inauguration ceremony still scheduled October 29

TIMEFRAME expected from 10/9/2018, 12:00 AM until 1/1/2019, 12:59 AM (Europe/Istanbul). COUNTRY/REGION Istanbul

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Eurocontrol indicated on Tuesday, October 9, that full flight operations at the Istanbul New Airport are expected to be delayed until December 30 or 31, with a "phased transition" beginning from October 29. The inauguration ceremony scheduled for October 29 - to coincide with Turkey's National Day - will reportedly go ahead as planned. Full flight operations at the new airport were initially set to begin in October 2018.


Representatives of İGA Airport Operation Inc., tasked with the airport's construction, indicated on October 5 the airport would open as planned on October 29, although the Ministry of Transport has not commented on the extent of the airport's operations. Media reports state the General Directorate of State Airports Authority (DHMI) postponed the airport's date of operation due to negotiations with "relevant stakeholders," to conduct further tests, and to train staff currently employed at Istanbul Atatürk Airport. Previously, a Turkish court ordered 24 workers to be placed in temporary detention on September 19, following a series of protests denouncing working and living conditions at the airport construction site, as well as a number of related deaths. Thousands of people reportedly took part in the protests, which were broken up by riot police. These demonstrations continued throughout the following weekend. Istanbul New Airport, located north of Istanbul in the district of Arnavutköy, will replace Istanbul Atatürk Airport and assume the IATA airport code IST. Once fully operational, it is expected to handle about 90 million passengers per year.


Individuals in Istanbul are advised to contact their airlines for more information and avoid any potential protests due to the risk of violence.  


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