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  1. ITV Report

Airport planned to be largest in the world opens in Istanbul

The airport will take another 10 years to fully complete. Credit: Istanbul Airport

Turkey has opened what officials say will one day be the largest airport in the world.

Istanbul Airport, which is still under construction, saw its first domestic flight land on Saturday afternoon followed by its premiere international arrival a few hours later.

The multi-million dollar project was first announced six years ago and has been built to replace the city's aging Ataturk hub.

It is thought to have cost in excess of $12 billion (£9 billion) to construct. The airport's building has been mired by delays, despite the short time frame since the first ground was broken, it has opened behind schedule.

The airport has been built to replace another aging airport in Istanbul. Credit: Istanbul Airport
A view of the passenger gates area of the new airport. Credit: Istanbul Airport
An artist's impression of how the air traffic control tower will look once fully completed. Credit: Istanbul Airport

In the days before the airport's opening, a large relocation project took place to move essential ground vehicles from the old airport to their new location. Several major highways were reportedly closed to facilitate the move.

Passengers at the new hub will be treated to a wide array of shops and restaurants as they make their journeys.

It is thought the new airport can accommodate more than 90 million passengers on an annual basis, this figure rising to 200 million once the all phases of construction are completed.

It is anticipated the airport will be fully constructed in a decade's time.

The airport is expected to be the world's biggest when fully completed. Credit: Istanbul Airport
The airport will be fully completed in 10 years time. Credit: Istanbul Airport
Passengers will be treated to an array of facilities at the new hub. Credit: Istanbul Airport

The new site, which is six times the size of London's Heathrow, is symbolic of the fondness of the country's leadership for large scale construction projects.

Turkey has seen a boom in road building and rail construction in recent years, even opening an underground railway spanning between Europe and Asia.

But it hasn't all been a smooth ride. Turkey has been thrown into political turmoil after an opposition party won several key ruling party strongholds at local elections.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s conservative party, which has dominated Turkish politics for 16 years, declared victory despite the opposition gains.