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Visit to the new Istanbul airport

Ambassador Vegard Ellefsen, along with his Nordic colleagues, visited the new airport in Istanbul on the 5th of March. Hosted by Mr. Yusuf Akçayoğlu, CEO of İGA Airports Construction, the ambassadors also got a presentation from Ms. Ingrid Motzfeldt, partner in the Oslo-based Nordic Office of Architecture, who has participated in designing the new airport.

Almost 36,000 people are currently working to get the Istanbul New Airport ready for the opening, scheduled to take place on October 29, 2018. The new airport is set to be the world’s largest in terms of size and allocated land (76km2). When the first phase of the project is completed later this year, the airport will have a capacity to host more than 90 million travelers annually. By 2025, when the whole project finishes, the new airport will have six runaways with a capacity to receive between 180-200 million passengers per year.

As a comparison, the new and expanded Oslo-Gardermoen will have a capacity to receive about 30 million passengers per year. The Atlanta-airport (Hartsfield Jackson) was the world’s busiest airport with 104 million passengers per year in 2016, according to a ranking from the Airport Council International. 

Local identity

–  To be allowed to design such a grand structure is inspiring, to see it built is incredible. We are grateful to all the exceptionally talented people we have had the good fortune of work with -  we're just really proud to be a part of this project,  said Ingrid Motzfeldt, whose company, the Nordic Office of Architecture, has been active in other airport projects, such as Hyderabad (India), Arlanda (Stockholm), Keflavik (Iceland) and Oslo-Gardermoen.

Norwegian travelers may see some resemblance between Oslo-Gardermoen and the Istanbul New Airport in the interior design and the use of wood.  However, with 1,370,000 m2 under roof, the Istanbul New Airport will be more than four times bigger than Oslo-Gardermoen.   

Among the distinct features of the new airport is the inspiration from Turkish and Ottoman architectural traditions with the use of sunlight from cupolas through the ceiling. The 140,000 m2 commercial shopping area is modelled on a map of the Bosporos straits. 

- We wanted the Terminal to have a local identity, as The Istanbul New Airport will be a grand new gateway to Istanbul and Turkey. The airport aims to capture the unique spirit and character of Istanbul whilst being a top, modern, functional airport of the highest international standard, added Ingrid Motzfeldt, who worked on the project from 2013 to 2015, through the concept design and the early phases of the detail project.

A new hub

-This project is massive in scope and I’m glad to see the participation of Norwegian architects, said ambassador Vegard Ellefsen, who also underscored the strategic impact the new airport will have in creating new travelling patterns.
-Istanbul will strengthen its role as a transport hub for Turkey, the region and globally. Operating out of this airport, the different airlines will have over 350 destinations all over the world.

- As a result, this will be an important gateway to Europe and Norway. We expect more Norwegian travelers to travel through this new airport. This will have important consequences also for the work at the Norwegian Embassy’s assistance to travelers, noted Ellefsen.


Blueprint airport
Blueprint for the new airport