Sabiha Gökçen International Airport
|Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen|
İstanbul Sabiha Gökçen
|Owner||HEAŞ (Airport Management & Aeronautical Industries Inc)|
|Elevation AMSL||312 ft / 95 m|
|Coordinates||40°53′54″N 29°18′33″E / 40.89833°N 29.30917°ECoordinates: 40°53′54″N 29°18′33″E / 40.89833°N 29.30917°E|
Location of airport in Istanbul
Sabiha Gökçen International Airport (IATA: SAW, ICAO: LTFJ) is one of the two international airports serving Istanbul, the largest city in Turkey, the other being Atatürk Airport. Located 35 km (22 mi) southeast of central Istanbul, Sabiha Gökçen is on the Asian side of the bi-continental city and serves as the hub for Pegasus Airlines as well as a base for Turkish Airlines and Borajet (currently suspended). The facility is named after Sabiha Gökçen, adoptive daughter of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk and the first female fighter pilot in the world.
The airport was built because Atatürk International Airport (located on the European side) was not large enough to meet the booming passenger demands (both domestic and international). In June 2007, Turkish conglomerate Limak Holding, India's GMR Group and Malaysia Airport Holding Berhad (MAHB) consortium gained the contract for upgrading and maintaining the airport. In mid-2008, ground was broken to upgrade the international terminal to handle 25 million passengers annually. The new terminal was inaugurated on 31 October 2009.
SAW's international terminal capacity originally was 3 million passengers per year and the domestic terminal capacity was 0.5 million passengers per year. In 2010, Sabiha Gökçen airport handled 11,129,472 passengers, a 71% increase compared to 2009. The airport was planning (in 2011) to host 25 million passengers by 2023, but had already handled more than 31 million passengers by 2017.
In September 2010, the airport was voted the World's Best Airport at the World Low Cost Airlines Congress in London and received the award. The other awards received by the airport in 2010 were: Turkey’s Most Successful Tourism Investment 2010, the highly commended award from Routes Europe, and the Airport Traffic Growth Award by Airline News & Network Analysis web site anna.aero.
With 28,285,578 passengers and 206,180 aircraft movements in 2015, Sabiha Gökçen International Airport is the third busiest single-runway airport in the world, after Mumbai and London Gatwick. However, both Mumbai and Gatwick actually have two runways and are only considered "single-runway" because they can only operate the second runway if the main one is out of use. This makes Sabiha Gökçen the world's busiest true single-runway airport.
The new terminal building with a 25 million annual passenger capacity conducts domestic and international flights under one roof.
The features and services of the new terminal and its outlying buildings include:
- a four-storey car park with a capacity of about 4,718 vehicles + 72 bus (3.836 indoors and 882 + 72 bus outdoors).
- a four-storey hotel with 128 rooms, adjacent to the terminal and with separate entrances at air and ground sides.
- 112 check-in, 24 online check-in counters
- a VIP building & apron viewing CIP halls with business lounges
- Multi Aircraft Ramp System (MARS), allowing simultaneous service to 8 aircraft with large fuselages (IATA code E) or 16 middle-sized fuselage aircraft (IATA code C).
- a 400 m² conference center
- 5,000 m² food court, for cafés and restaurants belonging the leading food & beverage brands
- a duty-free shopping area, with a ground of 4,500 square-meters; with shops at international standards.
The airport's cargo terminal has a capacity of 90,000 tons per year and is equipped with 18 cold storage depots.
Airlines and destinations
Sabiha Gökçen International Airport is connected to the city of Istanbul and the city's wider metropolitan area through a number of transport options.
The M4 metro line is being extended towards the airport. The current terminus at Tavşantepe is about 10 km from the airport and reachable by taxi or bus E9.
Shuttlebuses and coaches
Car and taxi
The airport is reachable by car from the E80 (Trans-European Motorway) which passes through the Istanbul Metropolitan Area.
Accidents and incidents
- On 23 December 2015 at approximately 2:00 AM, explosions were reported to have occurred in a parked Pegasus Airlines aircraft, killing one cleaner and wounding another inside the plane. Five nearby planes were reported to be damaged as well. The operations were reported to continue normally soon after, however with heightened security measured in place. Three days later, it was reported that PKK-affiliated terrorist group Kurdistan Freedom Falcons had organized the attack.
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