Turkey is planning to build the world's biggest airport in Istanbul, the country's Transportation Minister Binalis Yilidrim said yesterday.
To be built on a 828 million-square-foot plot of land on the European side of the city, it will be able to serve 150 million annual passengers, making it the busiest airport in the world, according to ABC News.
Istanbul is already served by two airports: Istanbul Ataturk, which served 45 million passengers in 2012 and is under strain, and the much smaller Sabiga Gokcen International Airport.
Another airport would add capacity and give Turkey the chance to become a major air hub, a significant economic opportunity. Ataturk can not be expanded because of land constraints, Bloomberg Businessweek reported.
The new airport is expected to be built in four stages; it could be operational and capable of serving 90 million annual passengers by 2017. The project is predicted to cost $8.84 billion, according to ABC.
Istanbul is not the only major city working to expand its airport capacity. London is facing similar strain, and may have to deal with 300 million passengers every year by 2030. Politicians and officials are debating whether to expand Heathrow (Europe's busiest airport) or build a new airport — one proposal calls for an airport on the Thames estuary, for a $79 billion price tag.
China is also building a new, high-capacity airport outside Beijing, which will have a capacity of 130 million passengers per year.
The world's busiest airport is Hartsfield-Jackson in Atlanta, which serves 90 million passengers annually.
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