New Istanbul Airport to be Fully Operational in April

All commercial and scheduled air operations will be transferred from the Ataturk airport (LTBA) to the new Istanbul airport (LTFM) in early March. The transfer period is planned to last 45 hours. During this period, foreign operators are not allowed in LTBA or LTFM as these airports will remain available for the base carriers’ flights only. Istanbul airport will become fully operational on April 7, 2019.
Business Aviation operators flying to Istanbul will have more choices once the new Istanbul Airport becomes fully operational. The opening ceremony of the new airport, Istanbul Havalimani, was held on October 29, 2018. Since the airport is currently in the implementation phase, only the flag carrier Turkish Airlines is allowed to operate to/from the airport.



Security level: 4 
Turkey remains under a state of emergency, which poses unique risks to travelers and exacerbates existing security concerns. Terrorist attacks occur frequently in Turkey. The threat of terrorism extends from both domestic militants -- such as Kurdish separatists and political extremists -- and militant Islamists -- such as those affiliated with or inspired by al-Qaeda and the Islamic State (IS). Crime, particularly opportunistic theft, is the security concern travelers to Turkey are most likely to encounter. Periodic demonstrations occur in various Turkish cities and may affect security for travelers. There are concerns related specifically to the crisis in Syria; these apply primarily to areas of southern Turkey that are located close to the Syrian border.
World Fuel Services partners with UnitedHealthcare Global Risk to offer superior security intelligence and risk mitigation services. Special reports are provided by UnitedHealthcare Global Risk.

Landing Permit Requirements

Landing permission is required for both private and charter flights. Operators are required to process the permissions through a representation company in Turkey holding valid licenses. 
Private flights:
Private flights require a landing permission from Turkey Civil Aviation Authority. 
International flights operated with aircrafts registered in ECAC member countries and in countries having bilateral agreements with Turkey have some exceptions to the rule:
a. 12 seats or less: No permission required, only ATC FPL needs to be on file at least 3 hours prior departure. 
b. More than 12 seats: Valid and updated aircraft documents must be on file at Turkey CAA. Once this requirement is fulfilled, then only ATC FPL is required to be on file at least 3 hours prior departure.
All domestic flights require landing permission.
Charter flights:
All charter flights are subject to a landing permission. Official requirements mandate the applications to be submitted at least 5 working days before the flight schedule. Lead time requirement is reduced to 2 days in case of emergency. 
Regular documents such as aircraft registration, airworthiness and noise certificates must be provided together with a signed letter regarding the flight purpose. Please note Turkey CAA requires the insurance certificate to be provided on a special form following the CAA requirements. Click the button below to see a sample.



Visa Requirements

Turkey requires visas prior arrival for most nationalities. Certain nationalities are exempted from visas for tourist visits of up to 90 days. 
If a visa is required, certain nationalities are elibigle to apply for an electronic visa online (eVisa). Electronic Visa is valid for 90 days for multiple entries. Please note that online applications must be submitted more than 24 hours prior the flight. 
Crew members may be exempted from visa requirements for a short stay of less than 72 hours. Check the current requirements through your Trip Planning specialist.

Hotel Accommodations

Travelers can choose from a variety of hotels either close to the Istanbul Ataturk airport or in downtown Istanbul. Both the old city (e.g. Sultanahmet district) and the modern part of Istanbul (e.g. Taksim square) count numerous hotels of all standard. All major hotel chains offer luxury and first class accommodation both near the airport and in the city center. 

For assistance, contact World Fuel Services directly at or call +1 281 280 2200.



Airport Considerations

From April 7, 2019 onwards the Business Aviation operators planning flights to Istanbul can choose to operate into 3 different airports:
  • Ataturk Airport: ISL/LTBA 
  • Sabiha Gokcen: SAW/LTFJ 
  • Istanbul New Airport (Istanbul Havalimani): IST/LTFM 
The new Istanbul Airport is located northwest from the city. Istanbul Ataturk airport is located in the European side of the city, west from the downtown. Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen airport is located in the Asian side of Istanbul, east from the downtown and outside the city center. While Ataturk (LTBA) and Sabiha Gocken (LTFJ) remain the most suitable for business aviation use, the operators can consider operating into the Istanbul new airport (LTFM) when passengers have connecting flights. 
LTFM (IST) – Istanbul Havalimani Airport

From April 7, 2019 onwards all the commercial and scheduled traffic to Istanbul will be operating from the new airport. Business aviation flights picking up/dropping off passengers from/to commercial flights are recommended to use LTFM. Prior permission and slots are required for all operations. There is no General Aviation Terminal available at the new Istanbul Airport. All the business aviation flights operate through the Main Terminal. 


Operating hours: 24h

Slots: Required.

PPR: Required.

Fuel:  JET A1 - H24. 

Hangar: Limited space, PPR required.

Rescue & Fire Fighting: CAT 10

Runway data :

- 16R/34L : 3750 m x 60 m (12303 ft x 196 ft)

- 16L/34R : 3750 m x 60 m (12303 ft x 196 ft)

- 17R/35L : 4100 m x 45 m (13451 ft x 147 ft)

- 17L/35R : 4100 m x 45 m (13451 ft x 147 ft)


Surface strength:

- Runways: PCN 96 F/A/W/T

- Aprons : PCN 110 R/A/W/T

- Taxiways: PCN 96 F/A/W/T


LTBA (ISL) – Istanbul Ataturk Airport

From April 7, 2019 onwards the Istanbul Ataturk airport (LTBA)  will be dedicated to general aviation, air taxi, business aviation, cargo, maintenance / technical, and state aircraft flights. Prior permission and slots are required for all operations. General Aviation Terminal is available.  


Important! Istanbul Ataturk airport (LTBA) will be temporary closed for any other than home base traffic during the transfer period of 45 hours. Airport remains available for base carriers only and will operate with a reduced capacity per hour. Transfer period is scheduled to start on 01MAR 0000 UTC and end on 02MAR 2100 UTC. 


Important! During the first 7 days following the transfer period, the Istanbul Ataturk airport (LTBA) capacity will be regulated to 10 movements per hour: 5 arrivals and 5 departures. Additional measures may apply as required in order to ensure safe ATC services. 


LTBJ/Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen Airport

Sabiha Gokcen remains an attractive choice to Business/General Aviation operators. Airport is 24/7, however, this schedule is affected by the daily night time runway closures due to the current runway maintenance and repair work. Operators are recommended to check the NOTAMs for the exact closure as the times vary. Slots and PPR are required. Parking is allowed for no more than 48 hours. Should a longer parking be required, the hangar parking remains an option. General Aviation Terminal is available.  



All international flights, both private and commercial, are exempted from fuel taxes. 

Ground Transportation

Istanbul is one of the most congested cities in the world with 15 million inhabitants. Most travelers prefer a car with a driver to overcome the local traffic. WFS Global Trip Support offers ground transportation arrangements through vetted, high quality transportation providers at all Istanbul airports. Please contact WFS Global Trip Support +1 281 280 2200 for more information.
Distances and Drive Times:
LTFM/Istanbul New Airport – Taksim Square: 35 km / 22 miles 45 min
LTBA/Ataturk airport – Taksim Square : 22 km / 12 miles 35 min
LTFJ/Sabiha Gokcen – Taksim Square: 41 km / 25 miles 55 min

Contact Information

World Fuel Global Trip Support
Ph: +41 22 341 6215 / +1 281 280 2200 (24h)

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