International air transport rating agency, Skytrax, says Istanbul Airport is being named a 5-star airport which paves the way for global recognition.

Turkey’s Istanbul Airport has been certified as a 5-star airport by London-based air transport rating agency Skytrax. Rising to the top of global aviation rankings, with its unique architecture and travel experience, the airport, which was inaugurated in 2018, has now become one of the top eight major 5-star airports in the world. 

The government took several measures to stem the spread of the virus, which included extensive signage and passenger guidance, numerous hand sanitisation facilities, personal protective equipment (PPE) disposal points, social distancing adaptations, and a dedicated Bio-Safety Team to enforce these protocols. The airport also gained the privilege of being the one with the world's biggest terminal to earn a 5-star rating.

Skytrax’s CEO, Edward Plaisted, said Istanbul Airport has proved an outstanding engineering achievement with its terminal, which boasts a capacity of 90 million passengers. "This grand airport has an impressive diversity of passenger facilities, with an ease of accessibility to different terminal areas," he added.

In addition to Fiumicino Airport in Rome, Hamad International Airport in Doha, Qatar, and El Dorado Airport in Bogota, Colombia, Istanbul Airport is also just the fourth airport in the world to receive the award.

The CEO and General Manager of IGA which manages the airport, Kadri Samsunlu, said that Istanbul Airport had established a customer-oriented culture.

"We will advance this even further, and our work in this respect is continuing apace," he added

Skytrax international air transport agency has been providing quality audits, star grading, and quality comparison services for airports and airlines since 1989. 

Here are some of the features of Istanbul Airport which paved the way for its recent accolade:

Its design won an international architecture award

The airport's interiors pay homage to Turkish and Islamic designs, and its tulip-shaped air traffic control tower won the 2016 International Architecture Award. It also uses mobile applications and artificial intelligence for customers, is energy efficient and boasts a high-tech security system.

Eating at Istanbul Airport
Within the airport, you can find a variety of nice bakeries, patisseries, cafes, bars, restaurants, popular coffee chains, fast food restaurants and Grab-and-Go buffets serving all passers-by.

There is something for everyone’s tastes at the International Terminal – Airside, Domestic Terminal – Air-side and Land-side.

Shopping

You can also easily find enough shops to indulge a retail therapy urge. The Duty Free area consists of 9 sections housing different concepts, including: Fashion Garden, Family Palace, High Lux Hills and Style Beach. Each section welcomes passengers with concept-related selected brands. The Duty Free shops offer decent discounts on many brands, especially when in the perfumery section.

Moreover, plenty of fancy local and international fashion brand stores can be found. They offer a wide range of products, from accessories and jewellery, to childrenswear, toys and electronics. 

Mesmerising Lounges

As usual, airport lounges can be some of the best places to while away time afforded by a layover. For a flat fee, unlimited food, drinks and access to WiFi Internet await - their popularity also stems from the relaxing environment that characterise them.

There are already three lounges at the airport, including, the IGA Lounge, the Turkish Airlines Business Lounge, the Turkish Miles & Smiles Lounge and the Turkish Airlines Domestic Lounge.

The IGA Lounge is located on the international departure floor, and requires a passenger to have an IGA Pass to take advantage of its wide range of services.

The Turkish Airlines Business Lounge is located close to Gate E1 and open to all Turkish Airlines business class & Star Alliance business class passengers. No guests are allowed. 

The Turkish Miles & Smiles Lounge is located near Gate C1 and open to Miles & Smiles Elite & Elite Plus customers, and all Star Alliance Gold members. One guest is allowed per person. The Turkish Airlines Domestic Lounge can be accessed after crossing the terminal main vehicle security point and following the road and direction on the right.

The 53,000 square metre shopping complex will have six sections, including luxury stores and bazaar concepts and there will be parking capacity for 70,000 cars by 2023. 

Potential

Located on the shores of the Black Sea, the airport has a potential to serve 90 million passengers annually in its first phase.

At its completion, scheduled for 2023, it will occupy nearly 77 square kilometres (19,000 acres) and serve up to 200 million travellers a year with its six runways. That's almost double the traffic at the world's currently biggest airport, Atlanta's Hartsfield- Jackson in the United States.

At the inauguration ceremony, which took place on Republic Day in 2018, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Istanbul Airport will continue to grow for the next decade until all phases are completed by 2028.

Erdogan added that Istanbul Airport represented an $11.6 billion-plus investment, and the amount of rent to be paid to the government totalled some $25.3 billion.

"We see Istanbul Airport as an investment not only in our country but also in our region and the world," Erdogan added.

He previously stressed that Istanbul Airport will be a model to the world with its architecture, construction, operation, and financing.

Source: TRT World