When the newly constructed runway and terminal buildings at Tokat Airport opened at the end of March 2022, it brought some vicious discussions. Let’s start by asking those who want to pay premium how many times the airport has been opened and whether there is a guarantee of passengers here, reminding us of the following information.
I did my military service in Tokat in 1981. In those years, it was difficult to find a plane or even a bus to Tokyo. Years later, construction of Tokat Airport began in 1993 and was launched in 1995.
Unfortunately, this area was closed from 2001 to 2006. Participating in the first flight of Borajet, I saw how this facility is. The passenger hall, like the one-storey health center, has very inadequate aprons and runways. For this reason, the state has built an airport in its own way and continues to operate it on behalf of the public as the General Directorate of State Airport Administration.
In short, the existing facility was very inadequate and it required a new construction and it was done.
Suleiman Demirel’s biggest dream was to build an “airport for every city” in Turkey. During the time of Turgut Ojal, the ministers always fell in love with the same magic. Despite all these efforts, until the 2000s, there were only 26 airports of all sizes in Turkey. So, unfortunately, the dream of an airport with every city could not be realized. After 2000, the number of airports increased and reached 56. With new airports under construction at this time, this number will increase to 60 in a few years. Honestly, the slogan is “an airport for every city”. Because building an airport with 81 is never possible or necessary. There is a real opposition party that opposes what is being done now, saying that ‘public resources are being wasted’. Honestly, I agree that some airports, especially Jaffer Airport, are not necessary at all.
Airport management in Turkey has remained a state monopoly for many years. Currently, DHMI is a public body with approval to operate most airports in the country. In addition to the public domain airports covered by Build-Operate-Transfer (Istanbul Sabiha Goken, Ankara Essenboga, Izmir Adnan Menderes, Antalya, Mugla Milas-Bodrum and Dalaman, Alanya Gazipasa and Unfinished Chukurova) and these are public domain airports. His activities continue under his supervision.
In addition to these, there are a small number of airports, large and small, established by individuals and other non-governmental organizations. The reality is that the private sector in our country is far from building and operating airports.
State-made space rents are higher in their books. Smaller airports, such as those in American and European countries, should be encouraged and serve the public in all branches of aviation. No one goes near it.
The first airport to be established by the private sector was Bodrum Imsik Airport, which is no longer operational and was founded by an entrepreneur named Fuat Imsik, who also founded an airline. After a controversial and controversial period, the airport is no longer open. Hazerfen Airport is the only privately owned airport still in operation.
In addition, the benefits of Eskişehir Anadolu, Zonguldak Çaycuma, Aydın Çıldır belong to this category. Hazerfen Airport, established in 1992 on a 500-day land near Büyükçekmece Lake, has been conducting aircraft training for many years. Hazerfen Airport, currently operated by Aizawl Aviation School, has an asphalt runway with a length of 535 meters and a width of 18 meters. The track was named “Küçük Ülkü Track” after Atatর্rk’s adopted daughter Ulku Adatep.
The area has a motocross track, a 120-meter long model aircraft and a helipad. Hazerfen Airport handles many activities in addition to civil and general aviation. The Aizawl Aviation School, which is responsible for the management of Hazarfen Airport, which received its certification from SHGM in 2009 according to the new international standards, uses it as a training center.
Founded in Seluk, Izmir on land leased to the Turkish Aeronautical Association for 49 years, Selchuk-Efes Airport has been conducting ultralight flights, parachute jumps and both private and commercial flight training activities since its opening in 1993.
In addition to the THK, Ankara Etimesgut, Eskişehir İnönü and Antalya Karain airports, Erzincan also has an aviation training center. In these places, where thousands of young people are given aviation courses every year, parachute training, model aircraft, paragliding, glider, sail wing and microlight training are given.
– Saltukova Airport, located in Jonguldak Kaikuma and established by DHMI in 1999, closed in 2002 due to insufficient passengers. Later, the airport was awarded to Zonguldak Private Civil Aviation Industry and Trade Inc. for 25 years through a tender held in 2006. The airport has the capacity to host 500,000 passengers per year. THY Flight Academy took over Aydin Chaldar Airport, which was transferred to Gendarmerie General Command in 2002 through a tender.
Due to increasing pilot shortages in those years, the airport was introduced to train pilots for THY only. Çıldır Airport, which is still in operation, is an organization that contributes to the development of the city. As can be seen, some of these airports are commercially profitable.
Unfortunately, some of them are making losses and failing to contribute to the country’s economy. The state should be encouraged to build small airports with some financial benefits. There should be small practical squares ready for use across the country. Founded by Anadolu University, like Eskiিশehir Hassan Polatkan Square.
Have a nice flight to Turkey.
The first and only university campus in Turkey
Hassan Polatkan Airport must be kept alive
Currently the mayor of the Eskişehir metropolitan municipality is Professor. Dr. Yılmaz Büyükersen founded the Civil Aviation Vocational School in 1986, when he was rector of Anadolu University.
Yılmaz Hodja, who had a new vision for Eskişehir and believed that a university’s aviation department could not exist without an airplane and an airport, rolled up his sleeves to bring an airport to the university.
Upon completion, the facility, which was opened to traffic in 1989 and is known as Eskişehir Anadolu Airport, was registered as the world’s first and Turkey’s first and only university airport with an operating license obtained in 2007.
In the past, in addition to international flights, Imsik Air and Top Air connected Eskiেehir to Istanbul and Bodrum on a scheduled basis, thanks to this airport. Flight of great interest. In 2012, the Civil Aviation Vocational School was renamed the Faculty of Aviation and Space Sciences. In 2018, the airport and faculty joined Eskişehir Technical University (ESTU), which was founded by the department of Anadolu University and continues its activities under the roof of the new institution.
Named after the late Hassan Polatkan, who served as finance minister for 10 years in the Menderes governments in 2015, this useful airport was almost ready to sacrifice to save Jaffna airport, which has very few passengers.
Although SHGM took a step back after responding to the airlines’ instructions to “slide flights from Eskişehir to Kütahya”, the color of the business and the motives of some people became clear.
Within the structure of Hassan Polatkan Airport, which is operated by Eskihire Technical University;
Eskişehir Technical University flight training, VIP / CIP flight, air taxi and ambulance flight, private flight school training flight, scheduled / unscheduled domestic passenger transport flights, scheduled / unscheduled international passenger transport flights are operated without any problems.
There is no excuse for trying to close such airports in order to save a profit for others, which is not the burden of the state. I would like to emphasize again that such airports should be expanded without closing.