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Inaugurated in 2001, the international terminal is an efficient and modern terminal. After the new terminal opened, domestic flights were moved to the old international terminal. Despite its 1970s design, this new domestic terminal can handle more passengers than the more modern but smaller previous domestic terminal.

The airport terminals have been operated by TAV (Tepe-Akfen-Ventures) since January 2000. TAV has invested US$600 million since 1998. In 2005 TAV won the concession agreement to operate Atatürk for 15.5 years at a record breaking amount of $3 billion, which also represents the highest figure for such a privatization project in Turkey, Eastern Europe, Middle East, Commonwealth of Independent States and North Africa.

TAV (Tepe-Akfen-Ventures) started its construction at the airport for new boarding gates at international terminal as well as building a new air traffic control tower. Unused facility buildings are demolished and 3 new boarding bridges are being built. When the new tower is completed, the old one will be demolished.When the international terminal is expanded, some of the jet ways will be left to the domestics terminal which are on the west of the international terminal, connected to it. Also there is a plan to build another runway parallel to runway 06/24, so when the original runway 06/24 is under repair, this runway will be able to handle the traffic without any problem. But to work on this project, the military land is a fact of negotiation between the authorities as the space for new runway belongs to military. Also there are plans to expand the length of the runway 06/24 as well, by this way, runway will be able to handle larger aircraft as most airlines started to fly to Istanbul with larger aircrafts.

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