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Istanbul Atatürk Airport was replaced in regards to commercial passenger functions by the newly constructed Istanbul Airport, in April 2019, in order to meet Istanbul's growing domestic and international air traffic demand as a source, destination and transit point. Both airports were used in parallel for five months from late 2018, with the new airport gradually expanding to serve more domestic and regional destinations. On 6 April 2019, Atatürk's ISTIATA airport code was inherited by Istanbul Airport and Atatürk Airport was assigned the code ISL after the full transfer of all scheduled passenger activities to the new airport was completed. The final commercial flight, Turkish Airlines Flight 54, left Atatürk Airport on 6 April 2019 at 2.44am for Singapore.
Defunct passenger terminals
Istanbul Atatürk Airport featured two passenger terminals linked to each other. The former Domestic Terminal is the older and smaller of the two terminals and exclusively handled domestic flights within Turkey. It featured its own check-in and airside facilities on the upper floor, with twelve departure gates equipped with jet bridges., and five baggage reclaim belts on the ground level. The former International Terminal was inaugurated in 2000 and used for all international flights. It featured a large main hall containing eight check-in isles and a wide range of airside facilities such as shops and restaurant, 34 gates equipped with jetbridges and 7 bus-boarding stands. The arrivals floor had 11 baggage reclaim belts. In addition, there is a general aviation Terminal to the northwest of the passenger terminals.
The airport features a dedicated cargo terminal including facilities for the handling of radioactive and refrigerated freight.
Turkish Airlines has its headquarters in the Turkish Airlines General Management Building, located within the airport campus.
Istanbul Atatürk Airport ranked 17th in ACI statistics at the end of 2011 in terms of international traffic with almost 24 million international passengers. It ranked 29th in the world in terms of total passenger traffic with over 37.4 million passengers in 2011. Its total traffic within the last decade more than tripled, and its international traffic quadrupled.
On 25 April 2015, Turkish Airlines Flight 1878, operated by A320-200, TC-JPE was severely damaged in a landing accident. The aircraft aborted the first hard landing, which inflicted engine and gear damage. On the second attempt at landing, the right gear collapsed and the aircraft rolled off the runway spinning 180 degrees. All on board evacuated without injury.
On 28 June 2016, three terrorists killed 44 civilians by gunfire and subsequent suicide bombings, along with 239 civilians injured. The three men arrived in a taxi cab, and opened fire at the terminal. The three men then blew themselves up when police opened fire. The airport has X-ray scanners at the entrance to the terminal but security checks for cars are limited.
The Turkish Chamber of Civil Engineers lists ?stanbul Atatürk Airport as one of the fifty civil engineering feats in Turkey, a list of remarkable engineering projects completed in the first 50 years of the chamber's existence.
In the 2013 Air Transport News awards ceremony, ?stanbul Atatürk Airport was named Airport of the Year.
The airport was named Europe's Best Airport in the 40-50 million passenger per year category at the 2013 Skytrax World Airport Awards.