Turkey, and Istanbul in particular, has seen a strong rise in the number of passengers using air travel in recent years. This has been most evident in the case of Ataturk Airport which as the hub of the country’s national airline company Turkish Airlines, has seen its capacity limit pushed to breaking point. With the 2016 terrorist attack at the airport also showing its security vulnerabilities, the city authorities as well as the national government were therefore very keen on building a new airport which could deal with the strong increase in passenger numbers and also provide better security for travellers, especially taking into consideration that many of the travellers are tourists for whom basic security is of the utmost importance if they are to see Istanbul and Turkey as a viable holiday destination.
The new airport project whose first phase is expected to be completed in October 2018 is therefore the center of much attention, since upon completion of even phase 1, it will in theory have the capacity to become the busiest airport in the world. The completion of the latter phases will take its capacity far above many of its current rivals. Furthermore, a number of factors suggest that the probability of Istanbul becoming the busiest airport in the world is quite likely. These range from a large base population, to Istanbul and Turkey in general ranking amongst one of the most tourist favored destinations in the world, to finally Istanbul using its geographic location to position itself as the primary transportation hub for travel between the east, south and west.
The case of the new Istanbul airport becoming the busiest in the world in the near future is further strengthened by the fact that Turkish Airlines, which uses Istanbul as its hub, has witnessed outstanding growth in volume figures in recent years. In total the number of passengers flying with Turkish Airlines has increased by 272% between 2006 and 2016. With the company expanding its fleet size even further in 2016 and expected to continue this expansion policy in the near future as well, the volume size travelling with Turkish Airlines, and therefore travelling via or to Istanbul will only increase in the coming years. All of this suggests that the new Istanbul Airport is likely to become the busiest airport in the world.