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The Turkish joint venture consortium of Cengiz-Kolin-Limak-Mapa-Kalyon won the tender, and were obliged to pay the government €26.142 billion including value-added tax for a 25-year lease starting from 2018.
The completion date of the construction's first stage was officially set for 2018 – 42 months after the finalization of the tender's approval.
The distance between Istanbul Airport and Atatürk Airport is approximately 35 km (22 mi).
The area encompassed old open-pit coal mines, which were later filled up with soil.
A report published in Turkish newspaper Cumhuriyet in February 2018 claimed that more than 400 workers had been killed during the construction of the airport, with accidents killing three to four workers every week, and families of the killed workers being paid to remain silent about the incidents.
In terms of area airports, the six London-area airports serve more than 150 million passengers a year, while the three Paris-area airports serve around 100 million passengers a year.
It was decided to construct the new airport at the intersection of roads to Arnavutköy, Göktürk, and Çatalca, north of central Istanbul and between the Black Sea coast towns of Yeniköy, Tayakadın and Akpınar.
The area is a 7,659-hectare (18,930-acre) region near Lake Terkos.
Some 6,172 hectares (15,250 acres) of this area was state-owned forest.
Due to a lack of space to construct an additional runway at Istanbul Atatürk Airport, airport growth being restricted due to the growth of the city, the Turkish Airport Authority not allowing additional cargo or charter flights to the airport, and worsening air traffic congestion, it was decided to construct a new airport to serve Istanbul.