Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen International Airport

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Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen International Airport

İstanbul Sabiha Gökçen Uluslararası Havalimanı
Sabiha Gökçen International Airport logo.svg
Sabiha Gökçen Airport.JPG
Airport typePublic
OwnerHEAŞ (Airport Management & Aeronautical Industries Inc)
OperatorMalaysia Airports
ServesIstanbul, Turkey
LocationPendik, Istanbul
Hub for
Time zone(UTC+3)
Elevation AMSL312 ft / 95 m
Coordinates40°53′54″N 29°18′33″E / 40.89833°N 29.30917°E / 40.89833; 29.30917Coordinates: 40°53′54″N 29°18′33″E / 40.89833°N 29.30917°E / 40.89833; 29.30917
SAW is located in Istanbul
Location of airport in Istanbul
SAW is located in Turkey
SAW (Turkey)
SAW is located in Europe
SAW (Europe)
SAW is located in North Atlantic
SAW (North Atlantic)
Direction Length Surface
m ft
06/24 3,000 9,843 Concrete
Statistics (2018)
Passenger change 17-18Increase9%
Aircraft movements219,656 (2,017)
Movements change 16–17Decrease5%
Source: Turkish AIP at EUROCONTROL[1]
Passenger Traffic, ACI Europe[2]

Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen International Airport (IATA: SAW, ICAO: LTFJ) (Turkish: İstanbul Sabiha Gökçen Uluslararası Havalimanı) is one of three international airports serving Istanbul, the largest city in Turkey. Located 32 km (20 mi) southeast[1] of the city center, Sabiha Gökçen Airport is in the Asian part of the bi-continental Istanbul and serves as the hub for AnadoluJet and Pegasus Airlines as well as a secondary base for Turkish Airlines. The facility is named after Sabiha Gökçen, adoptive daughter of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk and the first female fighter pilot in the world.[3] Although Istanbul Airport, located 63 km (39 mi) away on the European side of Istanbul, is larger, Sabiha Gökçen is still one of the largest airports in the country.


The airport was built because Atatürk International Airport (located on the European side) was not large enough to meet the booming passenger demands (both domestic and international). The airport opened on 8 January 2001. In June 2007, Turkish conglomerate Limak Holding, India's GMR Group and Malaysia Airport Holding Berhad (MAHB) consortium gained the contract for upgrading and maintaining the airport. In mid-2008, ground was broken to upgrade the international terminal to handle 25 million passengers annually. The new terminal was inaugurated on 31 October 2009.

SAW's international terminal capacity originally was 3 million passengers per year and the domestic terminal capacity was 0.5 million passengers per year. In 2010, Sabiha Gökçen airport handled 11,129,472 passengers, a 71% increase compared to 2009.[4] The airport was planning (in 2011) to host 25 million passengers by 2023,[5][6] but had already handled more than 31 million passengers by 2017.

In September 2010, the airport was voted the World's Best Airport at the World Low Cost Airlines Congress in London and received the award.[7] The other awards received by the airport in 2010 were: Turkey's Most Successful Tourism Investment 2010, the highly commended award from Routes Europe, and the Airport Traffic Growth Award by Airline News & Network Analysis web site[8]

With 28,285,578 passengers and 206,180 aircraft movements in 2015, Sabiha Gökçen International Airport is the third busiest single-runway airport in the world, after Mumbai and London Gatwick. However, both Mumbai and Gatwick actually have two runways and are only considered "single-runway" because they can only operate the second runway if the main one is out of use. This makes Sabiha Gökçen the world's busiest true single-runway airport.[9]

A second runway is currently being built and is expected to be operational in June 2019.[10] The second runway will increase the hourly capacity from 40 to 80 movements. After the second runway is built, San Diego will be the busiest true single runway airport in the world.


The new terminal building with a 25 million annual passenger capacity conducts domestic and international flights under one roof.

The features and services of the new terminal and its outlying buildings include:

  • a four-storey car park with a capacity of about 4,718 vehicles + 72 bus (3.836 indoors and 882 + 72 bus outdoors).
  • a four-storey hotel with 128 rooms, adjacent to the terminal and with separate entrances at air and ground sides.
  • 112 check-in, 24 online check-in counters
  • a VIP building & apron viewing CIP halls with business lounges
  • Multi Aircraft Ramp System (MARS), allowing simultaneous service to 8 aircraft with large fuselages (IATA code E) or 16 middle-sized fuselage aircraft (IATA code C).
  • a 400 m² conference center
  • 5,000 m² food court, for cafés and restaurants belonging the leading food & beverage brands
  • a duty-free shopping area, with a ground of 4,500 square-meters; with shops at international standards.

The airport's cargo terminal has a capacity of 90,000 tons per year and is equipped with 18 cold storage depots.

Airlines and destinations[edit]


The following airlines operate regular scheduled and charter flights to and from Sabiha Gökçen International Airport:[11]

Air Arabia Sharjah
Air Arabia Maroc Casablanca, Tangier
Air Manas Bishkek
AnadoluJet[12] Abu Dhabi, Adana, Amsterdam, Ankara, Baghdad, Bahrain, Baku, Barcelona, Berlin–Tegel, Bodrum, Brussels, Dammam, Diyarbakır, Dubai–International, Düsseldorf, Edremit, Erbil, Ercan, Erzincan, Erzurum, Frankfurt, Gaziantep, Hatay, Jeddah, Kars, Kayseri, Kuwait City, London–Stansted, Mardin, Medina, Milan–Malpensa, Munich, Nevşehir, Ordu–Giresun, Paris–Charles de Gaulle, Riyadh, Rome–Fiumicino, Samsun, Sivas, Stuttgart, Tbilisi, Tehran–Imam Khomeini, Tel Aviv, Trabzon, Van, Vienna
Azerbaijan Airlines Baku
Buta Airways Baku[13]
Emirates Dubai–International[14]
FlyBaghdad Baghdad
flydubai Dubai–International
Flynas Jeddah, Riyadh
Jazeera Airways Kuwait City[15]
Jordan Aviation Amman–Queen Alia
Kuwait Airways Seasonal: Kuwait City
Nile Air Cairo
Pegasus Airlines Abu Dhabi,[16] Adana, Almaty, Amsterdam, Ankara, Antalya, Athens, Baghdad, Bahrain, Barcelona, Basel/Mulhouse, Basra,[17] Batman, Batumi,[18] Beirut, Belgrade, Bergamo, Berlin–Schönefeld, Bishkek, Bodrum, Bologna, Bucharest, Budapest, Casablanca,[19] Charleroi, Cologne/Bonn, Copenhagen, Dalaman, Dammam, Denizli, Diyarbakır, Doha, Dubai–International, Düsseldorf, Eindhoven,[20] Edremit, Elazığ, Erbil, Ercan, Erzincan, Erzurum, Frankfurt, Gaziantep, Gazipaşa, Geneva, Grozny, Hamburg, Hannover, Hatay, Helsinki , Hurghada, Izmir, Kahramanmaraş, Kars, Karachi, Kastamonu, Kayseri, Kharkiv, Konya, Krasnodar, Kuwait City, London–Stansted, Lviv, Lyon, Madrid, Malatya, Manchester,[21] Mardin, Marseille, Medina,[22] Merzifon, Milan–Malpensa, Mineralnye Vody, Moscow–Domodedovo, Munich, Münster/Osnabrück, Muş, Muscat,[23] Nevşehir, Nice, Nuremberg, Ordu–Giresun, Oslo–Gardermoen, Paris–Orly, Prague, Pristina, Ras Al Khaimah,[24] Riyadh,[25] Rome–Fiumicino, Rotterdam,[26] Samsun, Şanlıurfa, Sarajevo, Sharjah,[27] Sharm El Sheikh, Sivas, Skopje, Stockholm–Arlanda, Stuttgart, Sulaymaniyah, Tbilisi, Tehran–Imam Khomeini, Tel Aviv, Tirana, Trabzon, Van, Venice,[28] Vienna, Zaporizhia, Zurich
Pobeda Krasnodar,[29] Moscow–Vnukovo[30]
Qatar Airways Doha
Royal Air Maroc Casablanca[31]
SalamAir Muscat[32]
SunExpress Antalya
Turkish Airlines Ankara, Antalya, Bodrum, Dalaman, Ercan, Izmir
Uzbekistan Airways Charter: Tashkent[33]


Cargolux[34] Luxembourg
Ethiopian Cargo[35] Addis Ababa
MNG Airlines[36] Leipzig/Halle, Paris–Charles de Gaulle


Traffic figures[edit]

Terminal building
Check-in area
View of the apron
İstanbul Sabiha Gökçen International Airport passenger traffic statistics[37]
Year Domestic % change International % change Total % change
2019 21.415.596 Decrease 5% 14.057.256 Increase 21% 35.472.852 Increase 4%
2018 22,514,048 Increase 7% 11,619,569 Increase 13% 34,133,617 Increase 9%
2017 21,056,767 Increase 4% 10,329,074 Increase 9% 31,385,841 Increase 6%
2016 20,131,365 Increase 9% 9,446,370 Decrease 1% 29,577,735 Increase 5%
2015 18,535,463 Increase 24% 9,576,975 Increase 12% 28,108,738 Increase 20%
2014 15,008,600 Increase 26% 8,499,541 Increase 29% 23,508,141 Increase 27%
2013 11,947,424 Increase 23% 6,694,418 Increase 35% 18,641,842 Increase 27%
2012 9,486,469 Increase 9% 5,000,773 Increase 13% 14,487,242 Increase 10%
2011 8,704,249 Increase 16% 4,420,421 Increase 20% 13,124,670 Increase 17%
2010 7,435,158 Increase 65% 3,694,314 Increase 84% 11,129,472 Increase 71%
2009 4,547,673 Increase 63% 2,092,285 Increase 33% 6,639,958 Increase 52%
2008 2,764,856 Increase 9% 1,516,337 Increase 27% 4,281,193 Increase 15%
2007 2,528,549 Increase 17% 1,191,946 Increase 56% 3,720,495 Increase 28%
2006 2,153,561 Increase 285% 762,893 Increase 66% 2,916,454 Increase 186%
2005 559,824 Increase 5,323% 459,922 Increase 96% 1,019,746 Increase 315%
2004 10,323 Increase 265% 235,278 Increase 52% 245,601 Increase 56%
2003 2,826 154,346 157,172

Passenger development[edit]

Sabiha Gökçen passenger totals, 2005–2019 (millions)

Ground transport[edit]

Sabiha Gökçen International Airport is connected to the city of Istanbul and the city's wider metropolitan area through a number of transport options.


The airport is located 14 km from the district of Pendik's railway and sea-taxi stations but a connection via Marmaray is planned.


The M4 metro line is being extended towards the airport. The current terminus at Tavşantepe is about 10 km from the airport and reachable by taxi or bus E9.

Shuttlebuses and coaches[edit]

Shuttlebuses E10 and E11 serve Taksim and Kadıköy and there are coaches to nearby towns and cities.

Car and taxi[edit]

The airport is reachable by car from the E80 (Trans-European Motorway) which passes through the Istanbul Metropolitan Area.

Accidents and incidents[edit]

  • On 23 December 2015 at approximately 2:00 AM, explosions were reported to have occurred in a parked Pegasus Airlines aircraft, killing one cleaner and wounding another inside the plane. Five nearby planes were reported to be damaged as well. The operations were reported to continue normally soon after, however with heightened security measured in place.[38] Three days later, it was reported that PKK-affiliated terrorist group Kurdistan Freedom Falcons had organized the attack.[39]
  • On February 5, 2020, a Boeing 737-800, registration TC-IZK, operated as Pegasus Airlines Flight 2193, skidded off the end of Runway 06, leading to an airport shutdown.[40]There were 177 passengers and 6 crew on board. Three people were killed, another 179 were injured.


  1. ^ a b EAD Basic. Retrieved on 1 August 2011.
  2. ^ "ACI EUROPE Airport Traffic Report. December, Q4 and Full Year 2015" (PDF). Retrieved 28 August 2016.
  3. ^ "First female combat pilot". Guinness World Records. Retrieved 19 April 2018.
  4. ^ 2010 airport statistics. Retrieved on 1 August 2011.
  5. ^ İstanbul's 2nd Airport To Reach 25 Million Passengers By 2023. (24 May 2011). Retrieved on 1 August 2011.
  6. ^ Sabiha Gökçen'de rekor yolcu sayısı. Retrieved on 1 August 2011.
  7. ^ Sabiha Gökçen dünyanın en iyi havalimanı seçildi – Hürriyet Ekonomi. Retrieved on 1 August 2011.
  8. ^ "EURO ANNIES 2011: Airport Awards". Airline Network News & Analysis. Retrieved 19 May 2011. In December 2013, MAHB acquired GMR's 40 percent stake in a deal worthed 225 million euros.
  9. ^ V, Manju (13 May 2017). "Now, Mumbai world's busiest airport with only one runway". The Times of India. Retrieved 6 May 2018.
  10. ^ World`s busiest single-runway commercial airports. Retrieved on 13 November 2016.
  11. ^ - Flight Destinations retrieved 3 August 2016
  12. ^ Liu, Jim (13 January 2020). "Turkish Airlines confirms AnadoluJet network transition from late-March 2020". Routesonline.
  13. ^ "Timetable of Buta Airways flights". Buta Airways.
  14. ^ 2018, UBM (UK) Ltd. "Emirates resumes Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen route from June 2018".CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  15. ^ "Jazeera Airways expands Turkey network from June 2019". Routesonline. Retrieved 7 February 2020.
  16. ^ "Pegasus adds new international routes from June 2017". routesonline. Retrieved 5 April 2017.
  17. ^ "Pegasus adds new Iraqi routes in 1Q19". routesonline. Retrieved 24 January 2019.
  18. ^ Liu, Jim. "Pegasus adds Istanbul – Batumi service from late-March 2020". Routesonline. Retrieved 23 December 2019.
  19. ^ "HuffPost Maghreb". Retrieved 7 February 2020.
  20. ^ Luitwieler, Neal (15 April 2019). "Pegasus Airlines opent lijndienst tussen Eindhoven en Istanbul". Luchtvaartnieuws. Retrieved 7 February 2020.
  21. ^ "Pegasus Airlines adds Istanbul – Manchester link from July 2019". Routesonline. Retrieved 7 February 2020.
  22. ^ Liu, Jim. "Pegasus adds Madinah flights from Jan 2020". Routesonline. Retrieved 2 December 2019.
  23. ^ 2018, UBM (UK) Ltd. "Pegasus adds Muscat service from July 2018".CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  24. ^ "Pegasus schedules Ras al Khaimah launch in late-Oct 2019". 23 July 2019.
  25. ^ "Pegasus Airlines expands Middle East network in 2Q19". Routesonline. Retrieved 7 February 2020.
  26. ^ "Pegasus adds Hamburg / Rotterdam service in W18". Retrieved 28 October 2018.
  27. ^ "Pegasus adds Istanbul – Sharjah route from mid-Dec 2018". routesonline. Retrieved 26 December 2018.
  28. ^ Liu, Jim (20 February 2019). "Pegasus adds Venice service from July 2019". Routesonline.
  29. ^ Liu, Jim (17 September 2019). "Pobeda re-schedules Krasnodar – Istanbul launch to late-Oct 2019". Retrieved 18 September 2019.
  30. ^ Pobeda adds Moscow – Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen service from late-Sep 2018 Routesonline. 16 September 2018.
  31. ^ Liu, Jim. "Royal Air Maroc adds Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen service from late-June 2019". Routesonline. Retrieved 12 June 2019.
  32. ^ "Salam Air outlines further network expansion in S19". Routesonline. Retrieved 7 February 2020.
  33. ^ "Uzbekistan Airways adds Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen charters in W19". Airlineroute. Retrieved 24 October 2019.
  34. ^ - Network & Offices retrieved 28 March 2020
  35. ^ - Cargo Network retrieved 28 March 2020
  36. ^ - Scheduled Cargo retrieved 28 March 2020
  37. ^ DHMİ Genel Müdürlüğü. "Devlet Hava Meydanları İşletmesi Genel Müdürlüğü". Retrieved 1 June 2015.
  38. ^ Daren Butler (23 December 2015). "Suspected bomb kills one at Istanbul airport, investigation launched". Reuters UK.
  39. ^ "PKK-affiliated terrorist group claims responsibility for Istanbul airport attack". DailySabah. 26 December 2015.
  40. ^ "Flights suspended at an Istanbul airport after plane overshoot". 7 January 2020. Retrieved 7 February 2020 – via

^ 40. Hradecky, Simon. "Incident: Pegasus B738 at Istanbul on Jan 7th 2020, runway excursion on landing". Aviation Herald. Retrieved 7 January 2020.

External links[edit]

Media related to Sabiha Gökçen International Airport at Wikimedia Commons