GMR-Limak-MAHB Consortium Inaugurates Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen International Airport (ISGIA) In Turkey 12 Months Ahead Of Schedule

Bangalore, 31th October, 2009:

The consortium of GMR Infrastructure Ltd., (GMR), Limak Insaat San. Ve Tic. A.S. (Limak), and Malaysia Airports Holding Berhad (MAHB) inaugurated ISGIA at Istanbul in Turkey today, a full year ahead of schedule as promised to the Honourable Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Prime Minister of Republic of Turkey during the ground breaking ceremonies 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.

The airport is the third airport for the Bangalore based GMR Group, which already operates India’s first Greenfield airport at Hyderabad and is constructing the world’s second largest airport in Delhi.The brand new international terminal, designed to handle 20 million passenger capacity was constructed for a total cost of 451 million Euros (Rs. 3143.50 cores approx) for a concession period of 20 years.

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 million m².
    • 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 even though as per the concession Agreement we had to do this in 30 months. During the ground breaking ceremony on 3rd May 2008 the Hon Prime Minister of Turkey had requested the three partners to complete the project in time for the 86th Republic Day of the Republic of Turkey- and the promise has been delivered. The important aspect is that this stupendous achievement has been done without compromising on quality or safety.

This confluence of three nations and three partners has been unique.

  • 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.

Earlier on 19th March, 2008, the consortium had signed the implementation agreement with the Turkish Government’s Ministry of Defense and thereafter 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 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.

Commenting on the milestone, Mr. G.M. Rao, Chairman - GMR Group said, “Winning and developing the Istanbul SGIA project is significant in our foray into international markets in the airports sector. We are happy that we have like-minded partners in both, Limak and MAHB as well as the wholehearted support of the Turkish government. All this has helped us to deliver our promise of bringing improved customer values, standards and operational efficiencies that are the best in class to this project. We look forward to continuing this partnership in our airport infrastructure growth strategy in international markets.”

Ranjit Murugason, CEO of GMR International said, “This project has proven beyond doubt that the GMR Group has execution capabilities which are of world standards. Successfully bidding for the project, financing a project of this size in the toughest financial environment and most importantly executing it to world class standards and time has been very rewarding.”

According to Gokhan Bugday, CEO of ISGIA, “The ISGIA has many special features including world class infrastructure, facilities with good connectivity to all parts of Turkey. At the end of the 20 year concession period it is forecasted to be handling potentially 42 million passengers and 700,000 tonnes of cargo per annum. It has a runway length of 3000 m. The airlines will experience quicker turnaround times, while the passengers will experience great shopping experience at reasonable prices thanks to major international duty free, food and beverage, and advertising concessionaires. Major Airlines like Pegasus, Sun-Express, Easyjet and Germanwings will increase their use at ISGIA. Also with its closeness to the Istanbul Formula One race circuit, ISGIA will greatly ease travelling needs of Formula One fans.”