"This year it looks like is gonna be the real full force launch and that is with a blast."
Those are the words of Murat Sen, a senior member of TAV staff at the Gazipasa airport near Alanya.
At present, people wishing to visit Alanya must fly in via Antalya, which is 90 minutes away. While this has never been a major hindrance to tourism, in fact Alanya is one of the top holiday spots in Turkey, obviously the shorter the distance from the airport the better.
Gazipasa airport is just a few minutes from Alanya. The airport was built about a decade ago, but political and legal wrangling prevented it from opening. Somehow airport operator TAV managed to cut through the red tape and opened the airport for domestic flights last year. Last year they told us that international flights would follow after work to expand the runways was completed, which was expected to be this year. We dropped Murat a line to find out how things were progressing.
"Well the runway extension work is almost finished. It will be extended up to 2 kilometers once finished," he said.
Murat also told us that, tickets are now on sale in the Netherlands for direct flights between Alanya and Amsterdam. He was very excited about some of the traffic the airport is already receiving:
"Yesterday we had an incredible traffic, 3 aircraft and 4 helicopters all at the same time," he said. "Also the airport had its very first VIP traffic yesterday when the PM landed and took off to/from here to an opening ceremony in Anamur."
"Yesterday’s heavy traffic was reviving and prooved to me that my personnel is ready for anything to come their way," he added.
So, it looks like the Gazipasa airport will indeed be going international this year. Unfortunatelt Murat said that there has been nothing definite from UK carriers as yet, but as Alanya has the largest population of British expats in Turkey, we are sure that British carriers will launch routes into the airport, as soon as the airports status as an internaitonal airport is secured.