Turkey’s transport minister says 179 planes were diverted at Istanbul airport till mid-June

Turkey’s Minister of Transport and Infrastructure said that aviation authorities had diverted 179 planes at Istanbul’s new airport due to adverse weather conditions in the first 69 days after the airport had become fully operational in April, Diken news site reported on Thursday.

Adverse weather conditions can cause problems at Istanbul airport particularly in spring and fall and, as a result, planes can be diverted to other airports or there can be delays, said Minister Cahit Turan in a written response to a parliamentary inquiry. 

Turan said the number of planes that had to bypass the airport was 59 in April, 89 in May, and 31 in the first half of June.

The new airport, one of the mega-projects that have become a hallmark of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s rule, has been the subject of criticism since it became fully operational. Experts have voiced concerns that its construction quality does not meet the international standards and that its location on the Black Sea coast can cause severe problems due to weather conditions and northerly winds.

Aviation news-site Airport Haber reported on Thursday that one of the taxiways of the new airport was under maintenance because it had collapsed. The taxiway was closed over repeated complaints of pilots, the news site said.