Turkish Airlines (THY) has commenced the transfer process from Atatürk Airport to the new İstanbul Airport. The transfer started at 3 am on April 5 and is expected to take 45 hours, terminating at midnight on April 6.
The transfer of 10,000 pieces of equipment weighing 47,300 tonnes is being carried out with 686 semi-trailer trucks accompanied by 700 THY vehicles. Four of the most critical roads and highways are hugged during the transfer process.
According to Murat Muratoğlu from Sözcü daily, not all of the runways will be closed after the transfer. Atatürk Airport, which was selected the 5th best airport in 2019, will not be used by passengers but by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and other state officials.
It is known that there is no viable and economical way of transport to the new airport. People must pay implausible amounts of money for cabs or public buses to go to the airport. Pointing out this fact, Muratoğlu said: “While they [state officials] will enjoy Atatürk Airport which is at the best locations in the city, the citizens will be miserable on their way [to the new airport].”
The opening of the new airport had been delayed several times due to security risks until recently.
Istanbul's third airport project was officially launched on October 29, Turkey's Republic Day, with the attendance of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Apart from long working hours, mobbing and inhumane working and living conditions, the exact number of workers who had been killed due to work-related deaths continue to cause allegations.
As some resources report that around 400 workers have been killed at the site since the beginning of the massive airport project, the AKP government had denied such reports and said that 27 workers died since the construction had begun in May 2015. However, the government recently admitted that "at least 52 workers" have died on the site since construction began in 2015.