At the end of last month, the President of Turkey opened up the new Istanbul Airport, the same day the country celebrates its declaration of independence. And although it was a soft opening, Istanbul Airport will be one of the largest ones in the world once the other sections of the airport open.

The airport is about 20 miles from the city, and will span over 82,343,9146 square miles. The airport is so large that it’s expected to serve more than 100 million travelers a year within two years, and double that in ten years.

Istanbul Airport

(Image source: Grimshaw Architects)

The new Istanbul Airport hired Grimshaw Global to design the structure and area around it, and costs $25.3 billion dollars to get to its final phase. To give you a better perspective, the airport will offer travelers 228 passport control counters, about 107,639 square feet of space for shops, 34,4445 square feet of space for dining options, and 59,2015 square feet devoted to duty free stores.

Istanbul Airport in Turkey

(Image source: Grimshaw Architects)

Most of the Turkish Airlines fleet will begin flying out of Istanbul Airport within the next few months. And since the airline flies to more global cities than most airlines, the hope is that the opening of this new airport, tourism will increase in Turkey despite the somewhat recent political disruptions.

Newest Istanbul Airport

(Image source: Grimshaw Architects)

“Turkey’s devoted to becoming a symbol of prosperity and one of the world’s top 10 economies,” said Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the President of Turkey, which is why this airport is so important to the nation. The construction of it shows economic growth since the President came into power.

What will happen to Ataturk? Erdoğan plans to close most of the current airport and make it into a public garden. As a result, Istanbul‘s newest airport code will soon be renamed to IST (currently the airport code for Ataturk), but for the time being, the airport’s code is ISL.

We can’t wait to see the inside of this beauty, and for those who have been to Ataturk know that the new Istanbul Airport is a much-needed, and overdue, upgrade.