Airports are measured in several ways to determine which is “the largest” in the world. One test is simple: how large an area does the airport cover? In this regard, the King Fahd Intl. Airport in Saudi Arabia is the largest airport by area, covering a massive 485 square miles.

If you use the traffic measurement, the airport with the most passenger traffic has been Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson (ATL) with about 107,400,000 people touching ground or leaving in 2018. ATL has been the busiest airport in the world since 2000.

Further down the list of busy airports, in 17th place, was Istanbul, Turkey. But that placement is deceiving since the airport functions were being moved from the old Ataturk airport to a new site, called simply Istanbul Airport. While smaller in land area (about 30 square miles) than the King Fahd field, the new facility is on track to be the busiest in the world in just a few years; it’s expected to hit 90-million capacity by 2021, with an annual 150 million passenger capacity in its last planned expansion stage by 2023, while remaining upgradable to handle its goal of 200 million annual passengers by 2028.

The first phase of the Istanbul Airport was completed in 42 months and became operational on the 95th Anniversary of the Foundation of Republic, in October 2018. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan opened the new airport with a magnificent ceremony. The first phase consists of the main terminal building of 1.4 million square meters, two runways, an Air Traffic Control Tower and supporting buildings. The relocation operation from Istanbul Ataturk Airport to Istanbul Airport was carried out between April 5, 2019 3am and April 7, 2019, midnight.

Growing traffic will need increased facilities, often temporary while permanent buildings are finished. Rubb Building Systems has been a part of this massive project, building a large MRO (maintenance, repair, and overhaul) hangar for Turkish Airlines. The 82.3m (270ft) x 87.5m (287ft) x 9.8m (32ft) structure will provide maintenance and repair services for Turkish Airlines Cargo.

The hangar is equipped with 50mm(2″) Rubb Thermohall insulated cladding. This specialized architectural PVC deflects light and heat and is ideal for the climate in Turkey. The cladding effectively insulates the structure, resulting in a facility that can be easily climate controlled.

This MRO building includes a 71.9m (236ft) x 19.8m (65ft) Megadoor entry system. This type of door offers flexibility in accommodating different aircraft that could be stored in the hangar. The MRO facility also features an LED lighting system and a full HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) system.

Rubb MRO facilities feature post-production galvanized welded frames and high-quality membrane materials, delivering durability over time, making the cost of maintaining Rubb aircraft hangars more economical compared to conventional aviation hangars.

Because the location is built along the Marmara Plate in the North Anatolian Fault Zone, the new hangars for Turkish Airlines needed to be built to the highest standard of seismic design. The first challenge is designing a building to be flexible and move side to side, which is the case with Rubb’s fabric-based hangars.

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