Ataturk International Airport (Turkey)
Ataturk International Airport is one of the two airports that serve the city of Istanbul and Turkey in general. The other is Sabiha Gokcen International Airport. However, Ataturk is the largest. Opened in 1924, the airport is located some 24 km toward the west of Istanbul City. It serves slightly over 50 million travelers annually, making it the 17th busiest airport in the world and the fifth in Europe in terms of passenger traffic and 30th in the world in terms of cargo volumes. Even so, the airport is still confronted with several challenges especially when it comes to passenger handling capacity.
The airport has three passenger terminals. Terminal 1 is specifically reserved for all incoming and outgoing domestic flights. Likewise, Terminal 2 is only for incoming and outgoing international flights. Terminal 3 is the cargo terminal. The fourth terminal; the General Aviation Terminal was opened in 2000. The terminal that is now used for domestic flights is modern, spacious and efficient than Terminal 1 that has been used for domestic flights.
All the terminals at the airport are operated by Tepe-Akfen –Ventures (TAV), a company that has invested US$600 million in developing the airport’s facilities. Some of the facilities that the company has constructed include modern boarding gates at the international terminal and new traffic control tower. Older facilities at the airport are also being demolished to pave way for construction of new facilities including boarding bridges. These developments will certainly transform the airport’s image in addition to enhancing its passenger and cargo handling capacity.