Sabiha Gokcen airport to open second runway in 2015

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A second runway is to be built at Istanbul's Sabiha Gokcen International airport, the Turkish city's second hub, until 2015

"All planning is finished", says Gokhan Bugday, chief executive of operating company ISG. "We aim to finish a parallel runway [to the existing 3000m runway 06/24] in 2015, which will double the capacity of Sabiha Gokcen International."

The airport registered 13.7 million passengers in 2011, however airlines aim to reach 17 million travellers by the end of this year.

A new finance and technology centre near to Sabiha Gokcen International would lead to increased passenger volume, says Bugday.

Turkey's Limak Group, which owns 40% of the hub, is talking to fellow stakeholder Malaysian Airport Holding to transfer some part of its shares.

The Asian company currently holds 20% while the remaining 40% are held by GMR.

"At the moment, our negotiations are still continuing," says Bugday. "We believe this should be finished at the end of this year."