Istanbul's new mega-airport, as yet unnamed but known temporarily as Istanbul Grand Airport after the consortium which is developing it, is scheduled to be inaugurated on Republic Day, October 29th, 2018.
The transfer of operations from Istanbul's Atatürk Airport (IST) is scheduled to take place between 3 am, Oct 30th and 11:55 pm, Oct 31st.
Turkish Airlines will halt all its flights at 2 am, Oct 31st in order to move its planes to the new airport.
Operations at the new airport are planned to start in November, but airport construction will not be completely finished for several more years. The new terminal facility, all under one roof, has an initial capacity of 90 million travelers annually. When construction is complete, capacity is planned to be 150 million passengers.
Architects' rendering of the planned terminal building...
I'm worried about transport between the new airport and the city center.
The new airport is 50 km (31 miles) northwest of Sultanahmet, the heart of historic Istanbul, a trip of more than an hour by car/taxi at present.
When the new airport begins operations, the traffic to and from it will no doubt increase exponentially, and travel times will be longer.
A new 34-km Metro line is being built from Gayrettepe to the airport (map), but is scheduled for completion in 2022. To get to the airport from Sultanahmet and arrive two hours early for an international flight, it may be necessary to depart your hotel four hours before flight time.
As for arrivals, because Istanbul traffic can be very heavy and slow at many times during the day, you may want to avoid arriving at the new airport in the late afternoon or evening because you may not reach your hotel until late at night.
Let's watch and see how ground transport develops.
—by Tom Brosnahan