GMR made its maiden international foray, by winning the bid to develop Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen International Airport (ISGIA) at Istanbul, Turkey, along with its consortium partners Limak Holding, Turkey (LIMAK) and Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad (MAHB).
The consortium inaugurated ISGIA on 31 October 2009, a full year ahead of schedule as promised to the Honourable Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Prime Minister of Republic of Turkey during the ground breaking ceremony on 3rd May 2008.
The airport was inaugurated by the Honourable Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Prime Minister of Republic of Turkey in the presence of Mr. Praful Patel, Honorurable Minister of Civil Aviation, Govt. of India and YB Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat, Honourable Minister of Transport, Government of Malaysia. Also present on the occasion were Mr. G.M. Rao, Group Chairman – GMR Group, Mr. Nihat Ozdemir, Chairman – Limak Group and Mr. Tan Sri Datuk Dr. Aris bin Othman, Chairman – MAHB and other senior dignitaries.
Earlier on 19th March, 2008, the consortium had signed the implementation agreement with the Turkish Government’s Ministry of Defense and subsequently took over the operations of the airport on 1st May, 2008. The ground breaking ceremony was thereafter concluded by the Honourable Prime Minister of Turkey on 3rd May, 2008.
The brand new international terminal, designed to handle 20 million passenger capacity has been constructed for a total cost of 451 million Euros (Rs. 3143.50 cores approx) for a concession period of 20 years. In addition to constructing a new international airport terminal, the BOT project also involves managing the existing domestic and international terminals.
The salient features of the new airport are as follows:-
- The terminal is twice the size of the new Hyderabad Airport
- It is 3.5 times the size of the new Bangalore Airport
- Completed in a near world record time of 18 months without compromising any safety or quality standards.
- The terminal and allied buildings comprise of
- Total floor space of 2 lakh sq.mt.
- A four level car park for 4700 cars
- A 128 room hotel
- A brand new VIP terminal
- 2 CIP lounges for Business Class passengers
- The largest Duty Free area of 4500 m²
- A restaurant & café area spanning 5000 m²
- The technical features of the new terminal are truly world class
- Constructed to withstand Zone 5 Seismic activity even though Istanbul is located in Zone 1.
- The best-in-class IT systems
- Fully automated baggage handling system
- Latest security systems with over 1000 cameras
All the above has been achieved in a record time of 18 months, a year ahead of the 30 months time frame as stipulated in the concession Agreement. The consortium delivered on its promise in order to honour the Hon Prime Minister of Turkey request during the ground breaking ceremony on 3rd May 2008, to the complete the project in time for the 86th Republic Day of the Republic of Turkey.
The project has combined the strengths and expertise of three consortium partners from diverse backgrounds and nations.
- LIMAK brought in domain knowledge and strong Construction capabilities.
- GMR brought in the Developer’s capabilities besides engineering & electrical equipment knowledge and most importantly airport specific IT systems.
- MAHB brought in robust Operations capabilities coupled with their experience of running over 30 airports.
The airport will commence commercial operations on 9th November, 2009 with Turkish Airlines initiating its international flights from ISGIA to seven new European destinations namely Moscow, London, Amsterdam, Stuttgart, Cologne, Berlin, Hannover. ISGIA has seen > 70% growth in passenger traffic in the past few months and will eventually target to increase the passenger traffic by at least 40% of the present capacity by 2010.
Other than terminal operations, ISGIA will also provide
- Ground Handling services to more than 2500 aircrafts per month
- Cargo handling capabilities for 1000 tons of domestic and international cargo every month
- Fuel services to airlines at the airport with an additional 15,000 tons of fuel to airlines each month
- The airport will thus provide direct employment opportunities to over 1500 employees and indirectly to several others through the outsourcing route.
ISGIA is located on the Asian side of Istanbul which has two airports one each on the European and Asian sides. The Ataturk airport on the European side has already exceeded its handling capacity by 40% and therefore all growth is now seen in the Asian side.
The airport is targeted to handle 35-40 million ppa by the end of the concession term. ISGIA is the fastest growing airport in Turkey and in Europe as of today in 2009 (among airports with +3mn pax in Europe). It is slated to become the 3rd busiest airport in Turkey by passenger traffic by end of 2009, after Istanbul-Ataturk and Antalya airports.
Within the one year period since August ’08, ISGIA has increased its domestic and international network, and is now reaching 51 international destinations by adding 25 new destinations, and 19 domestic destinations by adding 10 new destinations. The Government of Turkey has already approved and sanctioned 100 million Euros for the 2nd runway’s land acquisition. The Government is also working on the undersea link via Metro to enhance the connectivity with the Asian side