01/25/2013 08:32 am ET

World's Largest Airport Planned For Istanbul, Turkey

With the capacity to host more than 150 million passengers per year, a new airport proposed for Istanbul is being touted as the world's largest by Turkish authorities, reports Reuters.

The new airport will be the city's third, as the current Atatürk International Airport hub can't take any further strain, according to Bloomberg. Nor is there room for the airport to expand.

"At full capacity the new airport will be the largest in the world in terms of passengers," Transport Minister Binali Yildirim told the press. "We calculate the whole project will cost more than 7 billion euros [$9.4 billion] excluding financing costs."

The first stage of the six-runway airport will see 90 million passengers, reports Financial Times. In its completed state, it will be able to accommodate 150 million.

UPI reports that the first phase will open in summer 2016, though Reuters makes a more conservative estimate with a projected 2017 opening.

The new airport, as Bloomberg points out, will "rival the Middle-East bases of Emirates and Etihad Airways." It will be located 37 miles northwest of the city.

An airport proposed for the Thames Estuary in London has also been touted as the world's biggest, were it to be built. It would also have a capacity of 150 million passengers per year.


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