The airport became operational on 29 October, completing the first phase of construction development.
The first phase consists of the main terminal building of 1.4 million m², 2 runways, an ATC tower and supporting buildings.
The first flight on October 31 was scheduled to Ankara with a special aeroplane. The aeronautical service transition from Istanbul-Atatürk to Istanbul Airport will commence on December 30 and end on December 31.
Istanbul Airport will have the capacity to serve 90 million people by October 29 and 200 million passengers once all the phases are completed in 2025. At that point, the airport should have six runways. Currently, Atlanta-Hartsfield-Jackson (ATL) is the busiest airport serving the highest number of passengers with 104 million passengers per year.
The beauty of Istanbul mosques, Turkish baths, domes, and various other historical buildings are showcased in the terminal, embedding those structures into the architectural texture of the terminal. Moreover, Turkish-Islam art motifs and architecture offer beauty, texture and depth into the project.
Air traffic control tower of Istanbul Airport was designed by taking inspiration from the tulip, a symbol of Istanbul for centuries, occupying a central role in the cultural life of Turkish-Islam history. Pininfarina and AECOM, an outstanding designing company having designed Ferrari previously, designed the 90 meters tall control tower of Istanbul Airport.
— Istanbul Airport