The planned metro station of the new Istanbul Airport, which has been surrounded in controversy since its official opening over a year ago, will be located 300 meters away from the airport, according to a column by the journalist Fatih Altaylı in the daily Habertürk on Monday.
This was confirmed to Altaylı in a conversation he had with with Kadri Samsunlu, CEO of the IGA firm that runs the airport. Samsunlu acknowledged that the extensive distance was due to a planning error.
“Unfortunately that is the case. However, it may be possible to establish a connection using electric or autonomous vehicles,” Samsunlu said, adding that building an underground tunnel to transport passengers between the airport and the metro was out of the question.
Altaylı told Samsunlu that a common complaint among passengers traveling through the massive airport were the long walking times it took to transfer from gate to gate between flights.
“We’ve purchased special buggies that will operate within the terminals. We had planned to have these specially designed for us. This will enable us to transport passengers from plane to plane as necessary,” Samsunlu said in response to this criticism.
The airport was hampered by delays and surrounded in controversies that included workers protesting squalid conditions and deadly job site accidents, and environmentalists decrying the destruction of the northern forested areas where it was built.
During its construction, the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) was warned of the airport being on the migration route of birds, as well as of the danger posed by storms coming from the north.
According to the project’s Environmental Impact Assessment (ÇED) report, the area on which the new airport was built is windy 107 days of the year and heavily clouded 65 days a year. It also lies on the migration path of some 600,000 birds annually.