Istanbul court orders suspension of 3rd airport's construction

In a surprise decision, an İstanbul administrative court has ordered the suspension of the construction of İstanbul’s third airport, which Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan says will put the Turkish economy among the strongest economies in the world once completed.

The decision came after an environmental organization filed a lawsuit at the İstanbul 4th Administrative Court asking for the withdrawal of the Council of State’s positive Environmental Impact Analysis (ÇED) report on the planned airport, which played a crucial role in the decision of the Environment and Urban Planning Ministry to hold a tender for the construction of the airport.

The airport is predicted to provide jobs for 100,000 people and to be so large that it will be visible from space upon its completion.

İstanbul Mayor Kadir Topbaş stated in 2012 that the new airport would have a total passenger capacity of 150 million per year.

Currently there are two airports in the city — İstanbul Atatürk Airport, on the European side of the city and Sabiha Gökçen International Airport on the Asian side — both of which are quite large. In 2011 İstanbul Atatürk saw more than 37 million passengers and Sabiha Gökçen over 13 million. However, the two airports are insufficient to meet growing domestic and international passenger demands.