Istanbul Atatürk International Airport
Uniquely straddling Europe and the Middle East, Istanbul is an ancient city that has remained a culturally significant capital of the world. Serving the needs of the massive metropolis, Istanbul Ataturk Airport serves as the popular tourist destination’s gateway to the world.
More than 30 million passengers pass through Istanbul Ataturk Airport every year, including an average of over 82 thousand every single day. Recently breaking the top 30 airports in the world by passenger traffic, Ataturk Airport has begun to see capacity issues as total traffic has nearly quadrupled in the last ten years.
Combined with an equally huge demand in cargo traffic, multiple expansion plans have been explored by the government, including the creation of a third airport in the Istanbul area that should relieve some of the pressure on the airport. Other ideas, such as expanding some of the three current runways and adding a fourth runway, are also being considered.
Amenities at Istanbul Airport
Despite the congestion, Istanbul Ataturk Airport maintains many of the hallmarks of a world-class airport. Fully equipped with 24-hour information desks, the airport has services and amenities for all types of travelers.
Business travelers can take advantage of two fully equipped conference halls as well as an onsite post office, and Wi-Fi. International guests will find the banks and currency exchanges extremely useful, while anyone can take advantage of the 24-hour porter service. Befitting its place in the Islamic world, Ataturk Airport is also home to six mosques that are continually open for service.
Guests from all walks of life can take advantage of the six lounges that are available throughout the airport. While each lounge offers its guests something a little different, all are full service and offer a number of great amenities. Enjoy everything from complimentary drinks and snacks to newspapers, magazines, and even kids’ play rooms.
A seventh lounge operated by Turkish Airlines in the International Terminal recently underwent a major renovation. The CIP lounge has a 2,000-guest capacity and offers a huge range of amenities including TV and music systems, billiards, a library, and an advanced business center.
In line with its place as a major stop for world leaders, Istanbul Ataturk Airport is also equipped with two on-site specially designed meeting and accommodation areas. The State Guest House offers accommodations to Ministry approved guests, foreign officials, and commissions. Meanwhile, the VIP Lounge hosts around 200,000 guests a year, including local and foreign state officials.
A number of ways allow passengers to travel between Ataturk International Airport and Istanbul’s city center quick and easily. A light rail travels through the major parts of the European side of Istanbul and passageway to Aksaray takes around half-an-hour. Slow but inexpensive municipality busses run at regularly scheduled intervals, while an airport shuttle service is also run by the private company Havatas. Havatas also runs busses between the airport and nearby sea bus terminal.
Since car access remains one of the most common ways to get to and from the airport, key routes include the coastal road, D-100, and Trans-European Motorway. A number of car parks are available at Ataturk Airport including a multi-story car park designed with maximum security for vehicles, safe pedestrian platforms, multiple payment options, and a Registration ID System.
Parking at Istanbul Airport
Additionally, an open car park capable of handling 1,200 cars was opened in July of 2009. Both the domestic and international terminals also give customers an opportunity to drop off their cars at pre-determined locations for valet parking. Also for visitor convenience, parking subscriptions are in place at the car parks to assure lower rates for long-term stays.