General Manager of the General Directorate of State Airports Authority (DHMİ) Serdar Huseyin Yildirim has announced that five new airports will begin service in Turkey, as part of a plan for an “airport every 100 kilometers.”
Aiming to increase the number of airports to sixty by 2023 - the 100th anniversary of Turkish Republic - Turkey’s Ministry of Transport, Maritime Affairs and Communications has expedited the implementation of the plan after the opening ceremony of Turkey’s 55th airport in Hakkari, a southeastern province in Turkey.
According to ministry officials, local airports to be used by two neighboring provinces will give a big boost to Turkish aviation. The third airport in Istanbul, Rize-Artvin local airport, Cukurova local airport, Edirne local airport and the third airport in Antalya are to be constructed within the scope of the plan.
Located in the eastern part of the Black Sea Region of Turkey, Rize-Artvin local airport will be the second airport to be situated on an artificial island after the brand-new Ordu-Giresun airport opened on May 22 in northern Turkey.
Ordu-Giresun airport is the only artificial island airport in Europe, and the third of its kind in the world.
Turkey’s local aviation services have been developing in the last thirteen years. With the opening of the Ordu-Giresun and Salahaddin Eyyubi airports, seven different local airlines have began service to fifty-five different locations in Turkey whereas there was one local airline, Turkish Airlines (THY), and twenty-six service points in the early 2000s.
Meanwhile, Turkey’s international air service now travels to 268 different locations in 108 countries and there are nearly 500 airliners in Turkey’s aircraft fleet.
In the last thirteen years, the contribution of aviation to Turkey’s economy increased from 2.2 billion dollars to 27 billion dollars.
Turkey’s first indigenous modern domestic aircraft was introduced on Wednesday by Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu at a ceremony at Halic Congress Center in Istanbul.
The aircraft revealed on Wednesday is planned to be used for regional flights and will have a capacity of 70 passengers. It is expected to begin service in 2019, “the first plane will be built within the framework of Dornier 328 model” PM Davutoglu said.
Also on May 26, Turkey’s new Yuksekova Airport, named Salahaddin Eyyubi after the famous warrior and founder of the Ayyubid dynasty, was opened by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu in the southeastern border province of Hakkari.
Welcoming its first Turkish Airlines (THY) flight on May 26, Salahaddin Eyyubi Airport became Turkey's 55th airport and the 29th airport to be opened under the governance of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party).