Domestic and international interest has been building up since the announcement of the US$6.5bn (£4.1bn) project last August. “We have been receiving information requests from interested parties from all over the world,” said Metin Tahan, general manager of the ministry’s general directorate of infrastructure investments. Turkish conglomerates such as Sabanci, Limak, IC Holding and TAV, alongside many foreign companies, are reportedly interested in the project, which is to be contracted using a build-operate-transfer model.
The first section of the airport - consisting of three runways and three taxiways with a 100 million passenger capacity terminal - is planned to be operational by 2016. The new airport will be located in the northwestern part of Istanbul and is expected to accommodate some 150 million passengers annually once fully operational.