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    Business Aviation Flight Operations In Turkey

    triangle | By Just Aviation Team

    The success of Turkey’s flight operations are linked to healthy aviation growth. Passenger numbers in Turkey have experienced remarkable growth, recording double-digit rates in five out of the past six years. From 2003 to 2012, the compound average growth rate for Turkish airport passenger numbers was 14%. This impressive growth is largely attributed to the under-penetration of aviation in Turkey, which presents a vast potential for expansion. Western Europe stands as the largest destination region for international flights from Turkey, followed by Eastern/Central Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa. In 2023, Turkish airports hosted over 38.1 million passengers, marking a significant increase in international traffic. In the first four months of 2024, a total of 653,472 aircraft movements were recorded, while the total number of passengers reached 61,879,094. The top airports make possible these growth are:


    • Istanbul Airport (IATA: IST, ICAO: LTFM)
    • Izmir Adnan Menderes International Airport (IATA: ADB, ICAO: LTBJ)
    • Antalya International Airport (IATA: AYT, ICAO: LTAI)
    • Ankara Esenboğa International Airport (IATA: ESB, ICAO: LTAC)
    • Dalaman International Airport (IATA: DLM, ICAO: LTBS)

    Istanbul Airport (IATA: IST, ICAO: LTFM) International Flight Operations

    Istanbul Airport (IST) plays a crucial role in business flight operations due to its strategic location connecting Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. It facilitates a significant volume of business travel, cargo transport, and international connections. Istanbul Airport (IST) features a single, large terminal designed to handle both domestic and international flights. The terminal includes multiple concourses with numerous gates equipped to handle a vast number of passengers and aircraft movements. Istanbul Airport has five parallel runways:


    • 16L/34R: 3,750 meters (12,303 feet) long, asphalt surface.
    • 16R/34L: 3,750 meters (12,303 feet) long, asphalt surface.
    • 17L/35R: 4,100 meters (13,451 feet) long, asphalt surface.
    • 17R/35L: 4,100 meters (13,451 feet) long, asphalt surface.
    • 18/36: 3,060 meters (10,039 feet) long, asphalt and concrete surface.


    Istanbul Airport has one main terminal building that has both domestic and international flights. The terminal covers a vast area of 168,000 square meters (approximately 1,808,337 square feet). It is designed to handle a capacity of 10 million passengers per year. The terminal features modern architecture and efficient passenger flow design. The terminal is divided into five concourses: A, B, D, F, and G. Each concourse has its own set of:


    • Gates: These gates accommodate various aircraft sizes and types.
    • Check-in Counters: Passengers can check in for their flights at these counters.
    • Baggage Claim Areas: Baggage is collected by passengers after their flights.
    • Relaxation Services: Amenities such as lounges, seating areas, and restrooms are available in each concourse.


    Istanbul Airport boasts a total of 18 passenger bridges connecting the terminal to aircraft. These bridges facilitate efficient boarding and disembarkation processes. The airport has a parking facility with an impressive area of 123,000 square meters (approximately 1,323,961 square feet). It can accommodate up to 4,000 vehicles. The parking area is conveniently located near the terminal for easy access.

    Ankara Esenboğa International Airport (IATA: ESB, ICAO: LTAC) International Flight Operations

    Ankara Esenboğa Airport (ESB) has a vital gateway for business travelers to and from the capital city of Turkey. It supports governmental, diplomatic, and corporate travel, playing a key role in the region’s economic development. The airport has separate domestic and international terminals. Multiple passenger bridges, check-in counters, and passport control booths facilitate smooth passenger flow. It covers an area of 168,000 square meters (approximately 1,808,337 square feet). The terminal has a capacity of 10 million passengers per year. It features:


    • 18 passenger bridges: These bridges connect passengers directly to aircraft.
    • 105 check-in counters: Passengers can check in for their flights efficiently.
    • 34 passport counters: For passport control and immigration procedures.
    • Baggage Claim Areas: Where passengers retrieve their checked baggage.


    Also, the ESB has two same length runways:

    • 03R/21L: 3,750 meters (12,303 feet) asphalt
    • 03L/21R: 3,750 meters (12,303 feet) asphalt


    Esenboğa International Airport has a range of ground handling services to ensure efficient operations. These services cover cargo handling, aircraft servicing, and passenger services. The airport has facilities for general cargo, temperature-controlled goods, and bonded storage.


    Ankara Esenboğa Airport is situated 28 kilometers (17 miles) northeast of the city center. It is well-connected to the city by city buses, taxis, and the airport bus line. The road between the airport and the Ankara ring road was expanded to reduce travel time.

    Slot Coordination in Turkey’s International Airports

    The slot coordination process in Turkey is managed by the General Directorate of State Airports Authority (GDSAA). Here are some key points:

    Applicable Airports

    The airports subject to SLOT applications in Turkey include:

    • Istanbul Ataturk International Airport (IST): Scheduled or coordinated airport in both summer and winter.
    • Antalya International Airport (AYT): Coordinated in summer, rescheduled in winter.
    • Ankara Esenboğa Airport (ESB): ESB operates as a Level 3 coordinated airport year-round. Slot requests should be submitted in accordance with the Worldwide Airport Slot Guidelines (WASG)
    • İzmir Adnan Menderes Airport (ADB): ADB is also classified as a Level 3 coordinated airport. Airlines and operators must adhere to the WASG for slot allocation.
    • Dalaman Airport (DLM): DLM follows the WASG for slot coordination, ensuring fair and neutral slot allocation.
    • Bodrum Milas Airport (BJV) and Gazipaşa-Alanya Airport (GZP): These airports may also require slot coordination, especially during peak tourist (summer) seasons.

    Required Documents for Business Flight Operations

    When operating business flights in Turkey, whether scheduled or non-scheduled, you’ll need to comply with specific requirements. Here are the essential documents:


    • Flight Schedule
    • Entry/Exit Points with ATC Route
    • All Passenger Details
    • Consignee & Consignor Details (for cargo flights).
    • Aircraft Documents:
      • Air Operator Certificate (AOC) (Private aircraft AOC not required)
      • Certificate of Airworthiness (COA)
      • Certificate of Insurance (COI)
      • Certificate of Noise Compliance (CON)
      • Certificate of Registration (COR)


    Remember that Turkey has its own specific rules and procedures for granting permits to aircraft intending to land or enter its airspace. Prior Permission is mandatory for various flight scenarios. When submitting the Flight Plan, include the issued overflight permit number in Item 18. For accurate and efficient flight operations guidance regarding Turkey’s aviation regulations and procedures, contact Just Aviation for prompt assistance.

    Overflight Permits in Turkey’s International Operations

    Under the Turkish Civil Aviation Act Nr.2920, flight permit applications are evaluated on criteria such as safety, security, and commercial interests. General aviation flights adhering to European Civil Aviation Conference (ECAC) guidelines are exempt from needing a permit from the Directorate General. However, unscheduled flights and state aircraft must submit detailed applications, outlining aircraft specifics, flight purpose, and cargo details. Flights transporting foreign heads of state or sensitive cargo undergo a separate evaluation by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, necessitating early submission. In 2005, regulations were relaxed for general aviation overflight permits, but strict compliance with existing rules and bilateral agreements remains crucial.

    Landing Permits in Turkey’s International Operations

    Securing landing permits for business aviation in Turkey requires adherence to the Turkish Civil Aviation Act Nr.2920 and its associated regulations, which prioritize safety, security, and commercial rights. General aviation flights under ECAC guidelines do not require a landing permit. For other general aviation flights, especially those outside ECAC’s purview, unscheduled flight permits are mandatory. Applications must include detailed information on the aircraft, crew, flight purpose, cargo, and specific airport details. Flights carrying heads of foreign states, hazardous cargo, or military personnel must submit applications to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs at least 10 business days in advance. Operators must stay informed about bilateral agreements and regulatory compliance to prevent delays in Turkish airspace operations.

    Key Factors to Consider Before Obtaining Flight Permits for Turkish Airspace

    Flight plans for operations in Turkey should be filed at least 2 hours before departure from the origin airport. Operators must submit valid aircraft documents to the Civil Aviation Authority, including a complete flight schedule, entry/exit and ATC flight plan, passenger details, consignee and consignor details, air operating certificate, certificate of airworthiness, insurance certificate, noise certificate, and registration certificate. All aircraft not registered under a bilateral agreement with Turkey require overflight permits, which are typically valid for -24/+72 hours from the initially requested schedule. Turkey’s airspace comprises two Flight Information Regions (FIRs), coded “LTAA” and “LTBB.” The Turkey CAA issues air navigation bills directly to the airline/operator through EUROCONTROL. The working hours of the Turkish Civil Aviation Authority are from 0600Z to 1400Z.

    Ground Handling Services In Turkish International Airports

    Istanbul Atatürk Airport (IST) has scheduled and unscheduled line and base maintenance, avionic upgrades, paint renewals, and cabin refurbishments for various aircraft types. Its hangar can accommodate wide-body aircraft such as Boeing B777-200 and Airbus A330/A340, or two Boeing B737s and/or Airbus A32Fs, positioned wing tip to wing tip.


    Ankara Esenboğa Airport (ESB) and Izmir Adnan Menderes Airport (ADB) have line maintenance hangars, with additional line maintenance stations available at 24 domestic and 30 international airports in Turkey. JET A/A-1 fuel is available at various international airports, including Esenboğa Airport (ESB), İzmir Adnan Menderes Airport (ADB), Antalya Airport (AYT), and İstanbul Airport (IST), supporting business aircraft operations.


    Istanbul Airport (IST) boasts comprehensive de-icing and anti-icing measures. State-of-the-art deicing facilities use high-pressure glycol distributors and heated platforms for efficient ice removal. Specialized pneumatic de-icing boots on wings and the tail enhance flight safety during takeoff and flight, while the TKS Ice Protection System employs microscopic laser-drilled apertures to precisely apply glycol onto aircraft surfaces, preventing ice accumulation. Additionally, advanced heated surfaces on leading edges and engine inlets further reinforce safety standards.


    As we conclude our exploration of Turkey’s aviation landscape, we hope the insights provided have paved the way for seamless flight operations. From meticulous slot coordination to robust ground handling services and the availability of JET A/A-1 fuel, Just Aviation is well-equipped to support the ambitious endeavors of Turkey’s business aviation flight operations. Additionally, working closely with the flight and cabin crew and the ground handling team, we ensure efficient and safe operations throughout the journey.


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