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Istanbul Ataturk Airport
General aviation and cargo airport in Istanbul, Turkey
In 1911, a small apron with two hangars was built in Ye?ilköy, Istanbul, for the Turkish Armed Forces.Mustafa Kemal Atatürk founded Türk Tayyare Cemiyeti (Turkish Aircraft Company, today THK Türk Hava Kurumu) in 1925. In 1933, today's Turkish Airlines, the Türkiye Devlet Hava Yollar? started its flights with two Curtiss Kingbird aircraft. Flights from Istanbul to Ankara and Athens began. The small apron was expanded and a new passenger terminal was built. This is considered the beginning of the airport's 86-year history. It was originally named Ye?ilköy Airport. In the 1980s, it was renamed Atatürk International Airport. 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.
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. On 6 April 2019, Atatürk's ISTIATA 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. The final commercial flight, Turkish Airlines Flight 54, left Atatürk Airport on 6 April 2019 at 2.44am for Singapore.
Defunct passenger terminals
Istanbul Atatürk Airport featured two passenger terminals linked to each other. 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 and five baggage claim belts on the ground level. The former international terminal was inaugurated in 2000 and used for all international flights. It featured a large main hall containing 8 check-in isles and a wide range of airside facilities such as shops and restaurants, 34 gates equipped with jet bridges, and 7 bus-boarding stands. The arrivals floor had 11 baggage claim belts. In addition, there is a general aviation terminal to the northwest of the passenger terminals.
The airport features a dedicated cargo terminal including facilities for the handling of radioactive and refrigerated freight.
Turkish Airlines has its headquarters in the Turkish Airlines General Management Building, located within the airport campus.
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.
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.
On 28 June 2016, three terrorists killed 44 civilians by gunfire and subsequent suicide bombings, along with 239 civilians injured. The three men arrived in a taxi cab and opened fire at the terminal. The three men then 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.
The Turkish Chamber of Civil Engineers lists ?stanbul 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.
In the 2013 Air Transport News awards ceremony, ?stanbul Atatürk Airport was named Airport of the Year.
The airport was named Europe's Best Airport in the 40-50 million passenger per year category at the 2013 Skytrax World Airport Awards.