Sabiha Gökçen International Airport has broken its own record and served 34 million 58 thousand 917 passengers in 2018 via an increase of 9%. Sabiha Gökçen International Airport, second in Turkey, 13th in Europe regarding the passenger number, continued to be the busiest airport of our country with 22 million 387 thousand 47 domestic lines passengers. The international flight passengers which was 10 million 338 thousand 817 in the previous year, increased 13% in 2018 and reached 11 million 671 thousand 870 and the domestic flight passenger number increase 7% and reached 22 million 387 thousand 47. In the number of passenger flights from Sabiha Gökçen there was a 7% increase recorded in 2018 and the passenger flight number was 222 thousand 985. The international passenger flight number increased 10% and the domestic passenger flight increased 5% in 2018.
Airport Council International (ACI) results showed that among the airports in Europe serving more than 25 million passengers per year, in 2018 the biggest increase in direct connection compared to the year 2008 was of Sabiha Gökçen International Airport with 929.3%. For the following years similar developments seem possible with the investments done.
In order to adapt to this fast development, our place parking space capacity was raised to 69 in 2013. In 2014, 11 more parking spaces were added to that number. The service we are offering with a single track for the landing and takeoff of the planes is about to reach its maximum capacity. Therefore in 2014, the second track construction first stage tender (substructures-tunnels and displacements) have been held and in 2015 the construction works had started. The tender for the other works necessary for the construction of the second track is held by DHMİ in 2016 and the construction works had started in July 2016. Thus, following the completion of the track II, the plane traffic and place parking space number shall increase incrementally. In this process, in order to increase the capacity and to answer to certain extend to the awaiting demand; constructions of additional 2 rapid exit taxiways for our current track were realized. The works were completed with great effort and devotion without hindering the current operation and without risking the passenger and plane operation, and the Rapid Exit Taxiways were opened to traffic.
In addition to the works we have performed to increase the track capacity, for ensuring that our track serves well under this intense traffic, we are performing some other works. In our airfield with single track, only in night close downs, works for maintenance-repair as well as the replacement of plates are performed with special techniques and concrete mixtures. In favor of this, it is provided that our track is renewed at a large ration and the operations are continued in a more comfortable and safe way. Our team is working very hard for this to happen.
Also, to the maintenance center (My-Technic) that gives technical maintenance service for various size and types of planes in our airport, a second, new and modern maintenance center (THY HABOM) that is capable of serving bigger capacity planes was added in 2013. Also the works for a new hanger and apron for smaller capacity planes like business jets and training planes are completed again in 2014. General Aviation Apron zone and the General Aviation Hangar that started service in 2015 have started operations.
Due to the unfavorable meteorological conditions experienced in winter months, the planes should be washed with de-icing/anti-icing fluid against freezing. Due to this operation there are restrictions put in place in capacity. In order to prevent this condition restricting the capacity and to minimize the passenger suffering experienced in wintertime, construction of 105,000 m2 apron site in total where 4+1 planes can receive de-icing/anti-icing simultaneously was completed and the site was opened to service.
Our airport is not only conducting works for increasing the current capacity but also hastily continues the works for adaptation to the new technological developments regarding the flight security released for use around the world. In this regard, our airport has completed the provision works for the ground radar system for minimizing the ground incidents. Whereas our second track is being planned in way to include technical systems that will allow landing and takeoff at even the lowest visibility range; and also the track length and width shall provide the opportunity to land and takeoff to all big body planes.
As the employees of HEAŞ General Directorate, our fundamental goal is to provide the most reliable and most comfortable service to all the businesses receiving service in our airport in the frame of developing technologies. In this regard, to implement these opportunities and new developments in our country in the coming years shall be our main principle.