Sunday’s air traffic record at Atatürk Airport was the second in the same month following a previous record on Sept. 9 when 1,478 planes landed and took off in 24 hours. On Sunday, 749 planes landed and 751 others took off from Atatürk Airport, which is the 11th largest airport worldwide, providing services to 61.8 million passengers last year, according to the Airports Council International (ACI). It was also listed as the third busiest airport in Europe by ACI in 2015.
The record figures come nearly three months after a terror attack on June 28 at Ataturk Airport, killing at least 36 people and injuring nearly 150 others.
“Despite the terror attack in [June] and July 15 coup attempt, the great success [new record] demonstrates the continued rise in Turkish civil aviation,” said the head of the General Directorate of State Airports Authority (DHMI), Serdar Hüseyin Yıldırım, in a statement. “The new record also pointed out the need for a new airport in Istanbul,” Yıldırım added.
Turkey is building Istanbul’s third airport, which will open in February 2018, according to the Turkish Transport Ministry. The Cengiz-Kolin-Limak-Mapa-Kalyon consortium, a joint venture of Turkish companies, won a tender to build the third airport in Istanbul in 2013, pledging to pay the government 22.1 billion euros ($24.68 billion) for 25 years starting from 2017. With a more than 150 million passenger capacity annually, the airport is expected to become one of the biggest in the world and the biggest air transfer hub in Europe.
The airport will also act as a focal point for Turkey’s flag carrier Turkish Airlines, which is one of the fastest growing airline companies in the world, flying currently to more than 270 international destinations.