See Istanbul Atatürk Airport for the currently operating primary airport of Istanbul.
Istanbul Airport, commonly known as Istanbul New Airport, (ISL IATA, will become IST when all passenger flights are moved) is the future primary airport of Istanbul. It started serving limited flights from October 29, 2018 is planned to fully open on March.
Overcrowding at Istanbul Ataturk Airport, one of the busiest in Europe, was compounded by the fact that there was no room for expansion there due to the urban buildup around the airport. Thus, a new airport started construction as one of several Turkish megaprojects in the 2010s.
Confusingly, there are actually two websites for the airport. The first was set up while the airport was in construction, and is mostly meant for the company behind the airport (IGA). The second one (at the top of this page) is more helpful for travellers, as it is actually about the airport itself (Havalimani is Turkish for airport) and has more passenger information..
Currently, the airport handles additional (that is, supplementing service from Atatürk) Turkish Airlines flights to Ankara, Antalya, Izmir, Baku in Azerbaijan, and Ercan in Northern Cyprus. It also has some smaller flights to several European and Central European cities and Kuwait.
Starting in March, all other flights will be transferred.
There is one terminal with five concourses (A, B, D, F and G. Currently, only F and G are in use - F for international flights and G for domestic ones. Like a spicer, each concourse extends out from the central area where the check-in counters, security checkpoints and baggage claims are.
Currently the only way to access the airport is by car or bus. Until the end of the year, some bus tickets are discounted and parking is free, possibly to compensate for increased travel costs since the airport is further away from the city.
In the future, metro line M11 and the Marmaray commuter rail line will access the airport.
Since there is only one terminal built so far, with no rail or bus transfer system in place, you will probably have to walk everywhere. There is also a buggy service at each concourse from the central terminal area.
Eat and Drink
- Yotel (opening 2019). Both airside and landside facilities are available.
The airport is so far from anywhere (one of the main criticisms for the planned future closing of Atatürk Airport) that there is nowhere in particular worth seeking out nearby.
Provided that you have your papers in order and can arrange transportation, though, relatively closeby places in the lush countryside of Istanbul's north include Kemerburgaz and the Belgrade Forest, with many Ottoman era aqueducts which blend perfectly with their jungle-like surroundings to the east of the airport, and peaceful Lake Terkos, extensive undeveloped beaches on the Black Sea and mysterious Byzantine ruins scattered in the forests to the west.