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ORAC
24th Sep 2018, 09:17
Caution - aviation content....

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/finishing-a-30-square-mile-airport-jewel-of-turkey-s-building-boom-by-next-month-may-be-beyond-even-president-erdogan-75crpjzw9

The world’s biggest airport is struggling to take off on time

A motorcycle champion was racing an F-16 fighter jet and a Formula One racing car on the runway of what is to be the world’s biggest airport. Men in uniform milled around the drone displays and teenage girls in headscarves and flight suits hovered, spread-eagled, in the skydiving simulator, buffeted upwards by blasts of air. Meanwhile, my friend and I were rumbling down a mud track through a forest, trying to find where it was all happening.

Istanbul’s new airport is due to open next month and will be the jewel in President Erdogan’s construction boom crown. Thousands of miles of new road and rail links, bridges and tunnels have spread over Turkey during his tenure, a vast modernisation that powered the economy to be the fastest growing in the G20 last year. The airport, yet to be named, will carry 200 million passengers a year, almost three times as many as Heathrow, and cover 30 square miles by the Black Sea coast.

Only 35 days before its scheduled opening, however, on October 29, Republic Day in Turkey, much is still outstanding. The huge terminal, built in the gaudy Central Asian style of Mr Erdogan’s 1,000-room palace in Ankara, sits amid unfinished roads. Last week diggers trundled alongside the buses bringing thousands of schoolchildren to the site for Teknofestival, a three-day expo of Turkish technology organised by a drone company owned by one of Mr Erdogan’s sons-in-law, Selcuk Bayraktar.

The tangle of roads and junctions leading from central Istanbul to the airport, 40 miles to the north, was eerily empty, the signs unpainted and many of the slip roads little more than dirt tracks. The route recommended by Google Maps quickly turned into a forest trail, hence our predicament.

Teknofestival’s organisers kept visitors well away from the main terminal, where only days earlier a mass protest by construction workers was quelled by riot police using tear gas. Hundreds have been arrested and dismissed since the demonstrations, which broke out after two workers were killed when the minibus taking them from their living quarters to the site crashed. In February the labour ministry reported that 27 people had died on site since work began in 2015.

Mr Erdogan also has a cash-flow problem. The $13 billion airport, like most of his mega-projects, is financed with foreign credit. The European Union’s bank, the European Investment Bank, has poured almost $4.7 billion into the president’s AK Party (AKP) transport projects and there are huge loans from private investors. As Mr Erdogan’s relationship with Europe has grown more toxic, however, the bank credit line has dried up. The 40 per cent slide in the value of the lira this year means that investors are shying away and Turkish companies are in danger of defaulting on repayments. In April the consortium building the airport borrowed an additional $1 billion to ensure that the first phase would be finished by next month.

There was no talk of looming holes in the books at the Teknofestival, which Mr Erdogan attended. Istanbul council workers handed out leaflets documenting everything the president has done for the city since he became mayor in 1994. A loyal media group owned by the brother of his other son-in-law, the treasury minister Berat Albayrak, gave out free newspapers. Kenan Sofuoglu, the motorcyclist who won the race on the runway against the jet and the car, became an AKP deputy in June’s elections.

The unions are warning, however, that the airport will not be ready for the opening date and many of Istanbul’s residents are anticipating chaos. Ataturk Airport, the current main hub southwest of the city, will close as the new one opens. Most of the fleet of Turkish Airlines, the national carrier, will be moved in one day.

“You know that in Turkey we always start things but we never finish them well,” said one airport worker who will be moving to the new site. “It is going to be an endless nightmare.”

racedo
24th Sep 2018, 10:32
Should have got the Germans to help as they are great about building airports on time and getting them open........... :E

arketip
24th Sep 2018, 10:42
Should have got the Germans to help as they are great about building airports on time and getting them open........... :E

Or the Americans...or...

DaveReidUK
24th Sep 2018, 18:16
Wasn't it Hong Kong where they shifted operations overnight? Perhaps Turkish Airlines need to go talk to some of the people who planned that move.

I think you're rather missing the point. That the airport isn't/won't be ready is hardly Turkish Airlines' fault.

WingNut60
24th Sep 2018, 18:19
I think you're rather missing the point. That the airport isn't/won't be ready is hardly Turkish Airlines' fault.

And the move to Lantau was anything but smooth, IIRC
.$20 Billion 'Public Relations Disaster (https://www.nytimes.com/1998/07/09/news/a-20-billion-public-relations-disaster-hong-kongs-airport-cant-get-off.html)

reynoldsno1
25th Sep 2018, 01:40
They moved the Guangzhou (Baiyun) Airport over a weekend in 2004 ....

Chronus
25th Sep 2018, 19:18
Before we go and stick the label of bunch of incompetent camel drivers on the Turks, how about asking ourselves where are we with our second runway for Heathrow. Is our bunch of bureuacrats still sitting around conference tables, contemplating their navels, and debating whether they will be able to get enough traffic cones for the job.
So far as the comments of the Turkish worker , posted by ORAC, if you have ever seen a Turkish construction worker in action with a spade, you will see that one worker is equivalent to at least two dozers. By the way by dozers I mean muck shifting bulldozers of the Cat type and not one of our own home bred worker type of dozer. Next time you are out on the motorways just try and count the traffic cones and see how many workers you can actually spot working in the vicinity. I am convinced the traffic cones are really aliens from a far flung planet who in the dead of night do all the work.

flash8
25th Sep 2018, 20:12
Istanbul’s new airport is due to open next month and will be the jewel in President Erdogan’s construction boom crown. Surprised he has enough workers, his Prisons are certainly full to the brim, and not with felons either.

Andy_S
25th Sep 2018, 20:26
Before we go and stick the label of bunch of incompetent camel drivers on the Turks, how about asking ourselves where are we with our second runway for Heathrow. Is our bunch of bureuacrats still sitting around conference tables, contemplating their navels, and debating whether they will be able to get enough traffic cones for the job.

The difference is that Turkey is effectively a dictatorship, and Erdogan doesn't need to worry about public inquiries, environmental impact studies or stroppy MP's like we do.

Chronus
26th Sep 2018, 19:38
The difference is that Turkey is effectively a dictatorship, and Erdogan doesn't need to worry about public inquiries, environmental impact studies or stroppy MP's like we do.

In that case can we have him over on a lend-lease and once he has sorted out our transport system,including pot holes, our NHS, prisons ( they don`t seem to be having any moans and groans from the guests in their well overcrowded cells), and with a bit of luck he might even have some time left to sort out Brexit for us.And when he is done all these good deeds and if luck is still with us, he might even take a shine to our dear Corby, roll him up in a rug and take him back with him.

DaveReidUK
26th Sep 2018, 20:36
how about asking ourselves where are we with our second runway for Heathrow

Last time I flew from LHR, I could have sworn that they already have two. :O

Chronus
27th Sep 2018, 18:53
Last time I flew from LHR, I could have sworn that they already have two. :O

Age creeps on us all, given time it is inevitable.

The Heathrow third runway proposal started 12 years ago. It took the Turks less than 5 years to build what is to become the largest airport in the World. Why , I ask myself and find that the answer is really quite simple, typified in the sort of knit picking that we revel in. One upmanship in rhetoric and words, rather than action.

By the way, humble apologies for my ignorance on the number of runways at Heathrow.

DaveReidUK
27th Sep 2018, 21:29
The unions are warning, however, that the airport will not be ready for the opening date and many of Istanbul’s residents are anticipating chaos. Ataturk Airport, the current main hub southwest of the city, will close as the new one opens. Most of the fleet of Turkish Airlines, the national carrier, will be moved in one day.

Reports in the last few days strongly suggest that the planned opening in two days' time will be largely symbolic and will certainly not involve wholesale transfer of flights from Ataturk, which was originally planned to close for passenger flights as soon as the new airport opened.

Oh well ...

DaveReidUK
28th Sep 2018, 23:15
Once upon a time they had six. Curiously, on the map I found on Google, they were numbered 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, so it's never had a third runway.

ETA: Except looking back now, #3 may have been present until it was covered by terminal buildings. #1 is 27L/09R, #2 is what we know (or knew) as 23/05, #4 would have been something like 33R/15L, #6 would have been 33L/15R, #5 is 27R/09L and #7 was another 23/05 alignment to the west of the terminals. #3 was parallel to, and between #4 and #6.

Almost - except that you have #1 (10L/28R -> 09L/27R) and #5 (10R/28L -> 09R/27L) the wrong way round.

Runway #3 (16R/34L, 6300') was closed in order to make space to build the Central Terminal Area and replaced by Runway #6 in 1952.

DaveReidUK
2nd Oct 2018, 14:25
Reports in the last few days strongly suggest that the planned opening in two days' time will be largely symbolic and will certainly not involve wholesale transfer of flights from Ataturk, which was originally planned to close for passenger flights as soon as the new airport opened.

Oh well ...

Revised estimate for opening is reportedly 29th October (Republic Day in Turkey).

hailstone
2nd Oct 2018, 14:30
posted this in "Passengers & SLF" under Turkish Airlines heads-up; guess it also fits here:

does anybody have any additional insight as to the new IST not only opening on 29OCT, but operations actually being shifted there ?

Am hearing that access roads are yet to be completed, that allegedly catering facilities are not yet ready (meaning that all catering would be trucked over from the current Airport), etc

hailstone
4th Oct 2018, 06:06
https://www.bloomberght.com/haberler/haber/2161303-yeni-havalimanina-tasinma-tarihi-belli-oldu
Funda Ocak, General Director of State Airports Authority (DHMİ), called the meeting of aviation organizations, including the airlines, to move to Istanbul New Airport on 29 October.
In the article about the meeting, it is stated that after the opening of the new airport in Istanbul on 29 October with a ceremony, the "Big Bang" procedure, which is planned to be held on 30-31 October, will be carried out on 30-31 December 2018 and will be used for "testing the integrated terminal facilities of the process". .

(courtesy of Google Translate)