ÇED: Over 657,000 trees to be felled for 3rd airport construction
An environmental impact report (ÇED) prepared regarding the construction of a planned third airport in İstanbul has revealed that over 657,000 trees will have to be cut down and that air pollution will increase considerably if the airport is built in the planned location.

The ÇED was prepared by the Ministry of Environment and Urban Planning to determine the possible environmental effects from the construction of the third airport in İstanbul. According to the report, recently released on the official website of the ministry, 80 percent of the area on which the airport is to be built is forested, and more 657,000 trees will have to be felled for the construction of airport, which will lead to an increase in air pollution in the city.

Stating that the construction of the third airport will cause irreversible damage to the forest and water ecosystems of the area, the report states: "The area where the third airport is planned to be built is 7,650 hectares, and 6,172 hectares of this field consists of forested area, 1,180 hectares are used for mining, 660 hectares constitute a lake, 236 hectares are used for pasture and 60 hectares are used for agricultural activities. There are 2,513,341 trees in the area. The total number of trees that will have to be cut down for the construction of the third airport is 657,950. Among the trees located in the planned project area are maritime pine, stone pine, Calabrian pine, black pine, oak, hornbeam, narrow-leafed ash, linden, Norway maple and cedar."

Commenting that vehicle traffic and urbanization will increase in the area after the construction of the airport, the report warns of the possible air pollution and habitat loss in the area. The report states that there are 70 species of animals living in the forested area, adding that if the third airport is constructed in this area, the vegetation and natural features of the area will be destroyed.

The planned third airport in İstanbul will be built between the Yeniköy and Akpınar villages north of İstanbul's European side near the Black Sea, Minister of Transportation, Maritime Affairs and Communications Binali Yıldırım announced in November 2012. Speaking at a meeting of Parliament's Planning and Budget Commission, Yıldırım said the airport would occupy a nearly 90,000-square-meter plot between Yeniköy and Akpınar.

Yıldırım said the new airport will have six runways and is expected to be completed at the same time as a third Bosporus Bridge in the city.

The airport will provide jobs for 100,000 people and will be so large as to be visible from space, Yıldırım said. The new airport is expected to have a total capacity of 150 million passengers per year.

Currently, there are two airports: İstanbul Atatürk Airport, on the European side of the city, and Sabiha Gökçen International Airport, on the Asian side, both of which are quite large. In 2011, İstanbul Atatürk saw more than 37 million passengers, and Sabiha Gökçen over 13 million. However, the two airports are insufficient to meet growing domestic and international passenger demand. (Cihan/Today's Zaman)

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Last Modified: 2013-04-15 18:00:12
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