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Istanbul Atatürk Airport (IATA: ISL, ICAO: LTBA) (former IATA code: IST) (Turkish: İstanbul Atatürk Havalimanı) is a general aviation, business, and state aircraft airport in Istanbul. It closed on April 6, 2019, transferring commercial passenger flights to Istanbul Airport.

Istanbul Atatürk Airport

İstanbul Atatürk Havalimanı
TAV Airports Holding logo.svg
Ataturk Airport Karakas-1.jpg
Airport typePublic
OwnerGeneral Directorate of State Airports (DHMİ)
OperatorTAV Airports
ServesIstanbul, Turkey
LocationYeşilköy, Bakırköy, Istanbul
Opened1912 (as airfield)
1953 (as airport)[1]
ClosedApril 6, 2019
Hub for
Elevation AMSL163 ft / 50 m
Coordinates40°58′34″N 028°48′51″E / 40.97611°N 28.81417°E / 40.97611; 28.81417Coordinates: 40°58′34″N 028°48′51″E / 40.97611°N 28.81417°E / 40.97611; 28.81417
ISL is located in Istanbul
Location within Istanbul
ISL is located in Turkey
ISL (Turkey)
ISL is located in Europe
ISL (Europe)
Direction Length Surface
m ft
17L/35R 3,000 9,843 Concrete
17R/35L 3,000 9,843 Concrete
05/23 2,580 8,465 Grooved Asphalt
Statistics (2018)
Total passengers67,981,446[2]
International passengers48,811,305
Source: Turkish AIP at Eurocontrol Turkey[3]

As of April 6, 2019, the airport is open only for cargo, maintenance, general aviation, air taxis, business flights and state and diplomatic aircraft, while commercial passenger flights are all handled at the newly built Istanbul Airport.[4][5]

First opened in 1912 in San Stefano (now Yeşilköy) as a military airfield, on the European side of the city, it is located 24 km (15 mi) west[6] of the city centre. The airport was originally named Yeşilköy Airport. In the 1980s, it was renamed Istanbul Atatürk International Airport in honour of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder and first president of the Republic of Turkey. It served more than 60 million passengers in 2015, making it the 11th-busiest airport in the world in terms of total passenger traffic and the 10th-busiest in the world in terms of international passenger traffic. In 2017, it was Europe's 5th-busiest airport after London Heathrow, Paris Charles de Gaulle, Frankfurt Airport and Amsterdam Schiphol Airport, having fallen from third place after a decline in passengers due to security fears.[7]

Istanbul Atatürk Airport was replaced in regards to commercial passenger functions by the newly constructed Istanbul Airport, in April 2019, in order to meet Istanbul's growing domestic and international air traffic demand as a source, destination and transit point. Both airports were used in parallel for five months from late 2018, with the new airport gradually expanding to serve more domestic and regional destinations.[8] On 6 April 2019, Atatürk's IST IATA airport code was inherited by Istanbul Airport and Atatürk Airport was assigned the code ISL after the full transfer of all scheduled passenger activities to the new airport was completed.[9] The final commercial flight, Turkish Airlines Flight 54, left Atatürk Airport on 6 April 2019 at 2.44am for Singapore.[10]


Defunct passenger terminalsEdit

Istanbul Atatürk Airport featured two passenger terminals linked to each other.[11] The former Domestic Terminal is the older and smaller of the two terminals and exclusively handled domestic flights within Turkey. It featured its own check-in and airside facilities on the upper floor, with twelve departure gates equipped with jet bridges.,[11] and five baggage reclaim belts on the ground level.[11] The former International Terminal was inaugurated in 2000 and used for all international flights. It featured a large main hall containing eight check-in isles and a wide range of airside facilities such as shops and restaurant, 34 gates equipped with jetbridges and 7 bus-boarding stands. The arrivals floor had 11 baggage reclaim belts.[11] In addition, there is a general aviation Terminal to the northwest of the passenger terminals.[12]

Cargo TerminalEdit

The airport features a dedicated cargo terminal including facilities for the handling of radioactive and refrigerated freight.[13]

Other FacilitiesEdit

  • Turkish Airlines has its headquarters in the Turkish Airlines General Management Building, located within the airport campus.[14][15]
  • Onur Air has its headquarters in Technical Hangar B.[16]
  • Prima Aviation Services Inc. has its MRO Facilities in new technical site at the air side Gate A.[17]

Airlines and destinationsEdit


As of April 2019, the airport no longer handles scheduled passenger flights but remains open for freight operations.


The following cargo airlines serve the airport on a regular basis as of June 2019.

Air Algérie Cargo Algiers
Air France Cargo Paris–Charles de Gaulle
ASL Airlines Belgium Liège
DHL Aviation Leipzig/Halle
EgyptAir Cargo Cairo
Ethiopian Airlines Cargo Addis Ababa, Tel Aviv–Ben Gurion[18]
FedEx Express Paris–Charles de Gaulle
Hong Kong Airlines Cargo Almaty, Hong Kong, New Delhi
Iran Air Cargo Tehran–Imam Khomeini
Lufthansa Cargo Frankfurt, Moscow–Domodedovo
MNG Airlines Almaty, Cologne/Bonn, Hahn, London–Luton, Munich, Paris–Charles de Gaulle, Tehran–Imam Khomeini, Tel Aviv–Ben Gurion, Tripoli–Mitiga
MyCargo Airlines Bahrain, Hong Kong, Lahore, New York–JFK, Singapore, Tallinn
Royal Jordanian Cargo Amman
Qatar Airways Cargo Doha
Silk Way Airlines Baku
Turkish Airlines Cargo Accra, Aguadilla,[19] Algiers, Almaty, Amman, Amsterdam, Ashgabat, Atlanta, Baghdad,[20] Baku, Bangkok–Suvarnabhumi, Beirut, Belgrade, Bishkek, Bogotá,[19] Budapest, Cairo, Casablanca, Chennai, Chicago–O'Hare, Colombo, Dakar–Senghor,[21] Delhi, Dhaka, Doha, Dubai–Al Maktoum, Entebbe, Erbil, Frankfurt, Guangzhou, Hanoi, Helsinki, Hong Kong, Houston–Intercontinental,[19] Hyderabad, Islamabad, Kano,[19] Karachi, Khartoum, Kiev, Kinshasa, Lagos, London–Stansted, Maastricht/Aachen, Madrid, Mexico City, Milan–Malpensa, Moscow-Sheremetyevo,[22] Miami,[19] Minsk, Mumbai, Nairobi, Niš,[23] New York–JFK, São Paulo–Guarulhos,[21] Nur-Sultan, Sarajevo, Seoul–Incheon, Shanghai–Pudong, Shannon, Stockholm-Arlanda, Taipei–Taoyuan,[19] Tashkent, Tbilisi, Tehran–Imam Khomeini, Tel Aviv-Ben Gurion, Toronto–Pearson,[19] Tunis, Tuzla, Vienna, Vilnius, Zürich
ULS Airlines Cargo Barcelona, Beijing–Capital, Hong Kong, Kiev–Boryspil, Manila, Manston, Shanghai–Pudong
UPS Airlines Algiers, Cologne/Bonn, Newark, Shenzhen
Uzbekistan Airways Tashkent


Below is the passenger data and development for Istanbul Atatürk Airport for the years 2002–2018:[24]

Passenger statistics at Istanbul Atatürk Airport[24]
Year Domestic
% change
% change
% change
World rank
World rank
2018[25] 19,170,141  2 48,811,305  10 67,981,446  6 10th 17th
2017[26] 19,450,347  2 44,277,101  7 63,727,448  5 11th 15th
2016 19,099,874  1 41,019,341  2 60,119,215  2 11th[27] 14th[28]
2015[29] 19,375,402  4 41,947,327  10 61,322,729  8 10th[30] 11th[31]
2014 18,754,002  9 38,200,788  12 56,954,790[32]  11 9th 13th[33]
2013 17,224,105  13 34,096,770  14 51,320,875  14 10th 18th
2012 15,281,321  14 29,717,196  24 44,998,508  20 13th[34] 21st[35]
2011 13,604,352  15 23,847,835  17 37,452,187  17 17th 28th
2010 11,800,999  3 20,344,620  11 32,145,619  8 19th 37th
2009 11,393,645  1 18,363,739  8 29,757,384  4    
2008 11,484,063  20 17,069,069  26 28,553,132  23    
2007 9,595,923  6 13,600,306  12 23,196,229  9    
2006 9,091,693  21 12,174,281  3 21,265,974  10    
2005 7,512,282  39 11,781,487  16 19,293,769  24    
2004 5,430,925  70 10,169,676  14 15,600,601  29    
2003 3,196,045  12 8,908,268  5 12,104,342  7    
2002 2,851,487   8,506,204   11,357,691      

Istanbul Atatürk Airport ranked 17th in ACI statistics at the end of 2011 in terms of international traffic with almost 24 million international passengers. It ranked 29th in the world in terms of total passenger traffic with over 37.4 million passengers in 2011. Its total traffic within the last decade more than tripled, and its international traffic quadrupled.[36][37] According to data from FlightStats in 2012, the İstanbul Atatürk Airport had the most flight delays in Europe, and was ranked second in flight cancellations.[38]

Accidents and incidentsEdit

  • On 30 January 1975, Turkish Airlines Flight 345, crashed into the Sea of Marmara during its final approach to the airport. All 42 passengers and crew on board were killed.[39]
  • On 25 April 2015, Turkish Airlines Flight 1878, operated by A320-200, TC-JPE was severely damaged in a landing accident. The aircraft aborted the first hard landing, which inflicted engine and gear damage. On the second attempt at landing, the right gear collapsed and the aircraft rolled off the runway spinning 180 degrees. All on board evacuated without injury.[40]
  • On 28 June 2016, three terrorists killed 44 civilians by gunfire and subsequent suicide bombings, along with 239 civilians injured.[41][42] The three men arrived in a taxi cab, and opened fire at a terminal. The three men blew themselves up when police opened fire. The airport has X-ray scanners at the entrance to the terminal but security checks for cars are limited.[41][43]


  • The Turkish Chamber of Civil Engineers lists İstanbul Atatürk Airport as one of the fifty civil engineering feats in Turkey, a list of remarkable engineering projects completed in the first 50 years of the chamber's existence.[44]
  • In the 2013 Air Transport News awards ceremony, İstanbul Atatürk Airport was named Airport of the Year.[45]
  • The airport was named Europe's Best Airport in the 40-50 million passenger per year category at the 2013 Skytrax World Airport Awards.[46]


  1. ^ "Istanbul Atatürk Havalimanı" (in Turkish). Retrieved 7 April 2018.
  2. ^ "İstatistikler".
  3. ^ "LTBA – Istanbul / Atatürk / International". AIP Turkey. Ankara: DHMİ Genel Müdürlüğü. 5 January 2018. part AD 2 LTBA. Archived from the original (PDF) on 11 June 2003. Retrieved 4 August 2012. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  4. ^ "Turkish Airlines aims to spread its wings at Istanbul's giant new airport". Reuters. Retrieved 6 April 2019.
  5. ^ "Full transfer of flights from Ataturk to new Istanbul hub begins". Flight Global. Retrieved 6 April 2019.
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 25 February 2009. Retrieved 29 January 2019. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  7. ^ "'Full' Heathrow Extends European Hub Lead as Terror Hurts Rivals". Bloomberg Business. Retrieved 15 January 2016.
  8. ^ Kucukgocmen, Ali (29 October 2018). "Erdogan opens new 'Istanbul Airport', Turkey's biggest". Reuters. Retrieved 30 October 2018.
  9. ^ "Istanbul New Airport to affect entire European airspace". Daily Sabah. 19 February 2018. Archived from the original on 19 February 2018. Retrieved 19 February 2018.
  10. ^ "Last flight leaves Ataturk as Istanbul switches airports". Reuters. 6 April 2019. Retrieved 8 April 2019.
  11. ^ a b c d "Terminal Map".
  12. ^ "General Aviation Terminal".
  13. ^ "Cargo Terminal".
  14. ^ "Contact Us." Turkish Airlines. Retrieved on 26 June 2010.
  15. ^ "Map." Turkish Airlines. Retrieved on 26 June 2010. Archived 11 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  16. ^ "Communication". Onur Air. Retrieved 8 June 2014. Map. "Head Office Atatürk Havalimanı B Kapısı Teknik Hangar Yanı 34149 Yeşilköy/İSTANBUL/TÜRKİYE"
  17. ^ "Communication".[permanent dead link] Prima Aviation Services Inc. Retrieved 8 June 2014. Map. "Head Office YESILKOY MAH. HAVAALANI CAD. ATATURK HAVALIMANI NO:2/12-1 ZIP: 34149 BAKIRKOY / ISTANBUL"
  18. ^ "Cargo Schedule - Ethiopian Airlines". Retrieved 30 September 2017.
  19. ^ a b c d e f g "Turkish Cargo adds 7 destinations in Jan 2018". Retrieved 29 March 2018.
  20. ^ "Turkish Airlines Cargo adds new destinations in W16". Retrieved 25 December 2016.
  21. ^ a b "Turkish Cargo freighter to Sao Paulo". Air Cargo News. Archived from the original on 29 August 2017. Retrieved 10 November 2017. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  22. ^ Muir, James (31 May 2019). "Turkish Cargo to launch Sheremetyevo flights". Air Cargo Week. Retrieved 14 June 2019.
  23. ^ "EX-YU airports see cargo traffic potential". EX-Yu Aviation News. Retrieved 17 October 2016.
  24. ^ a b "Devlet Hava Meydanları İşletmesi Genel Müdürlüğü". Archived from the original on 28 June 2015. Retrieved 20 April 2019. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  25. ^ "December". DHMI. January 2019. Retrieved 20 April 2019.
  26. ^ "Wayback Machine". 6 January 2018. Archived from the original on 6 January 2018. Retrieved 23 January 2019. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  27. ^ "ACI releases preliminary 2016 world airport traffic rankings—Robust gains in passenger traffic at hub airports serving trans-Pacific and East Asian routes". Airports Council International. 19 April 2017. Retrieved 4 August 2017.
  28. ^ "2016 Annual Airport Traffic Report" (PDF). Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. 28 April 2017. Retrieved 10 May 2017.
  29. ^ DHMİ Genel Müdürlüğü. "Devlet Hava Meydanları İşletmesi Genel Müdürlüğü". Archived from the original on 28 June 2015. Retrieved 5 July 2012. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  30. ^ "Year to date International Passenger Traffic: DEC 2015". Airports Council International. 11 April 2016. Retrieved 11 October 2016.
  31. ^ "Year to date Passenger Traffic". Airports Council International. Retrieved 11 October 2016.
    "Year to date Passenger Traffic: DEC 2017". Airports Council International. 30 April 2018. Retrieved 12 September 2019.
  32. ^ "Year to 2014 dec. passenger". 21 December 2014. Archived from the original on 21 December 2014. Retrieved 21 December 2014. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  33. ^ "Year to date Passenger Traffic". Airports Council International.
    "Year to date Passenger Traffic: DEC 2017". Airports Council International. 30 April 2018. Retrieved 12 September 2019.
  34. ^ "Year to date". Airports Council International. 24 April 2013. Retrieved 29 April 2013.
    "Year to date International Passenger Traffic:DEC 2015". Airports Council International. 11 April 2016. Retrieved 12 September 2019.
  35. ^ "Year to date". Airports Council International. 24 April 2013. Retrieved 29 April 2013.
    "Year to date Passenger Traffic: DEC 2017". Airports Council International. 30 April 2018. Retrieved 12 September 2019.
  36. ^ "ACI Europe 2007 Final Rankings". Retrieved 30 September 2017.[permanent dead link]
  37. ^ "International Passenger Traffic Monthly Ranking: Aug 2008". Airports Council International. 12 November 2008. Archived from the original on 1 January 2009.
  38. ^ "Atatürk Airport first in flight delays, second in cancellations in Europe". Today's Zaman. 24 April 2012. Archived from the original on 14 August 2015. Retrieved 12 August 2015. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  39. ^ "Aircraft accident Fokker F-28 Fellowship 1000 TC-JAP Istanbul-Yeşilköy Airport (IST) [Marmara Sea]". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 31 July 2012.
  40. ^ Hradecky, Simon. "Accident: THY A320 at Istanbul on Apr 25th 2015, hard landing, go-around, engine problem, gear problem, gear collapse, runway excursion". Aviation Herald. Retrieved 25 April 2015.
  41. ^ a b "Istanbul Ataturk airport attack: 41 dead and more than 230 hurt - BBC News". Retrieved 30 June 2016.
  42. ^ Sabrina Tavernise; Ceylan Yeginsu (28 June 2016). "Attack at Istanbul Airport Leaves at Least 31 Dead". New York Times. Retrieved 29 June 2016.
  43. ^ "Blast and gunfire 'at Istanbul airport'". BBC News. Retrieved 28 June 2016.
  44. ^ "50 yılda 50 eser - HHPortal". Retrieved 1 June 2015.
  45. ^ "Air Transport News". 18 March 2013. Archived from the original on 22 March 2013. Retrieved 29 April 2013. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  46. ^ "World's Best Airports by Passenger Numbers | 2013". Archived from the original on 23 April 2013. Retrieved 29 April 2013. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)

External linksEdit