Deal for Turkey's fourth largest airport signed, more to come

An agreement for the construction of Zafer Airport, which would be the fourth largest airport in Turkey, was signed at a ceremony organized in Ankara.

Deal for Turkey's fourth largest airport signed, more to come

World Bulletin / News Desk

An agreement for the construction of Zafer Airport, which would be the fourth largest airport in Turkey, was signed at a ceremony organized in Ankara.

The build-operate-transfer (BOT) deal was signed by Transportation Minister Binali Yıldırım, State Airports Management General Directorate (DHMİ) head Orhan Birdal and IC Holding Chairman İbrahim Çeçen.

The airport will have a capacity of 2 million passengers and is expected to be built in the central-western province of Kütahya's Altıntaş area in three years.

During the ceremony Yıldırım addressed the participants and asserted that the airport will significantly contribute to the economies of Kütahya and the neighboring Afyonkarahisar and Uşak provinces. The province of Kütahya is famous for “çini,” the art of tile-making, while Uşak is a center for weaving and Afyon is known for its thermal tourism.

Yıldırım noted that the Zafer Airport project is the first example of constructing a new airport using the BOT model; previously the state has used the BOT model to expand or modernize existing facilities but the current airport project will be constructed from scratch under BOT. “We have spent TL 5 million to confiscate the area of 8 million square meters where the Zafer airport is going to be constructed,” Yıldırım said. Moreover, he added they also have plans to build a regional airport in the Çukurova region of Adana province. “We would like to use the expertise we gain building the Zafer Airport to build an airport in Çukurova. We will tender the project in 2011,” Yıldırım stated.

The Turkish transportation minister noted the Turkish aviation sector has improved greatly over time and that the ministry has managed to increase the number of passengers from 33 million in 2003 to 86 million in 2009. “We expect that this figure will pass 100 million. Generally, the growth in the number of passengers around the world is 3 percent annually. However, in 2009 the number of passengers decreased 5 percent around the world, while for Turkey it increased by more than 7 percent. When we compare figures from 2003 and 2009, we grew five times in the number of international flights passengers increased five-fold, while the number of domestic passengers tripled. This is a record,” said the minister.

Currently, Turkey has more than 360 passenger planes but this number exceeds 1,000 if private jets, choppers and training planes are included . The number of pilots working has increased to 7,000 from 1,300 in just seven years. Yıldırım stated there are currently 110,000 people working in the aviation sector and the revenue of the sector has increased from TL 3 billion to TL 18 billion. “The number of airports, which was 25 in Turkey, is now 46.

There are also ongoing airport projects in the Eastern provinces Hakkari, Bingöl, Şırnak and Iğdır. We expect 350 million passengers and more than 750 passenger planes by 2023. İstanbul by itself will host more than 150 million passengers in 2023; thus a third airport with capacity for 60 million passengers is needed. We will also build another airport in Turkey with a capacity for 30 million passengers and two more airports with capacity for 15 million passengers,” said Yıldırım.

Parallel to the improvement in the Turkish aviation sector, national carrier Turkish Airlines (THY) is now ranked the fourth best aviation company in Europe, stated the transportation minister.

Last Mod: 22 Aralık 2010, 17:39
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