ISTANBUL, TURKEY - JUNE 21: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's aircraft on Thursday made the first ever landing at Istanbul's new colossal airport, which is expected to formally open to air traffic on Oct. 29.
The Turkish presidential aircraft TC-ANK took off after Erdogan's election rally in Gaziantep to make its historic landing on the 3,750-meter-long and 60-meter-wide runway.
The aircraft was greeted with a water salute on the runway.
Upon his arrival at the airport, Erdogan made a short statement from the cockpit, saying he is pleased on the construction of “a magnificent airport” in Istanbul.
The new airport -- 90 percent of which is already completed -- will be the world's biggest project built from scratch upon completion.
In the first phase, the airport will welcome 90 million passengers annually. Following the second phase of construction, which is expected to be completed in 2023, it is projected that this number would rise to 150-250 million.
With an investment of 120 million euros ($141 million), Istanbul’s new airport will be home to the world’s largest duty-free shopping complex. The 53,000 square meter shopping complex will consist of six sections, including luxury stores and bazaar concepts.
After the launch of the new airport, the Ataturk Airport on the European side of the city will be replaced by a huge park named "People's Garden", Erdogan announced earlier. (Footage by Lokman Akkaya&Melik Firat Yucel/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
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