Istanbul - After months of delay, the massive move from the Ataturk Airport to the new airport near Istanbul has begun. This weekend, all flights will take off from the new Istanbul Airport.
The transport of ground vehicles, and other heavy equipment, started early in the night yesterday. More than 47,300 tons of equipment will be transported in 45 hours by more than 1,800 staff.
The Ataturk Airport will officially be closed to passenger flights on Saturday morning at 2 a.m. A Turkish Airlines flight to Singapore is the last scheduled flight from the airport.
The old airport will remain in use for freighter operations and VIP flights for the time being. After the major relocation, both airports will change their airport codes. The code "ISL" will be used for Istanbul Ataturk Airport and the "IST" for the new Istanbul Airport.
16,000 people will be employed at the new airport. In its last planned expansion stage, Istanbul's new airport will be the largest airport in the world with around 150 million annual passenger capacity.
The Turkish airport aims to become a major hub between the east and west, competing with the airports such as Frankfurt and Dubai.