Turkish aviation market keeps growing with the increase in the
number of passengers travelling to Turkey as well as increase in
the number of bilateral agreements that Turkey has entered into
with other countries for commercial flights. In 2013, for example,
82,7 million passengers landed in Turkey which made the country the
6th most visited holiday destination in the world with 37,8 million
tourists. In addition to such number of passengers, Turkey has
entered into 161 bilateral agreements with various countries for
commercial flights in the first half of 2014. Needless to say,
Turkey's strategically geographical position with airspace at
the crossroads of three continents and being the bridge between
Asia and Europe have led Turkey to be one of the leading stops for
passengers travelling all around the world. Even Istanbul itself is
located in such a position that 41 different countries can connect
to Istanbul within only 3 hours.
Who is in Charge?
In Turkey, the conditions applicable to foreign entities, who
are willing to give air transportation services between Turkey and
other countries, are determined by the Ministry of Transport,
Maritime Affairs and Communication ("the
Ministry") by taking into consideration the bilateral
agreements and multilateral agreements to which Turkey is a
Air Transport Department, which is among the main service units
of the Civil Aviation General Directorate of the Ministry
("CAD"), is in charge of reviewing, approving and
allowing the flight schedules of air transportation companies
having flights to Turkish airports.
Procedures to be Followed
The procedures to be followed by foreign airline companies in
order for them to launch flights to Turkey are regulated in Gen 1.2
(Procedures for Entry, Transit and Departure of Aircraft)
of AIP Turkey (Aeronautical Information Publication).
The circular regarding the procedures and principles for flight
permit applications as issued by the CAD, on the other hand,
provides that any and all flights to be operated by using the
airspace and airports of Turkey must comply with the procedures
provided under the Law, CAD Law, and AIP Turkey and are subject to
the permit of the CAD.
The CAD requires a number of documents to be filed with in order
to issue permits for scheduled flights.
All applications for flight permits must be made at least thirty
(30) days prior to the contemplated scheduled flights, unless this
time period is provided otherwise in the relevant bilateral
Finally, foreign airline companies must appoint authorized
personnel in Turkey in order to carry out those procedures for
obtaining the relevant permits and the CAD must be informed of the
contact details of such personnel. It must also be noted that
foreign airline companies, who do not employ required personnel of
their own in Turkey, must get the services of ground services
companies having work permits for surveillance and management,
aircraft private security services and supervision.
What is Next?
The air traffic in Turkey is expected to increase in the
upcoming years with new international routes to be launched from
and/or to Turkey by both Turkish and foreign airlines. According to
the data of the State Airports Authority of Turkey (Devlet Hava
Meydanlari Isletmesi-DHMI) (the "SAA"), the
number of domestic passengers is expected to exceed 117 million and
the number of international passengers is expected to exceed 105
million in 2017. As to the air cargos, it is expected by the SAA
that the number of cargos transported will be 900 thousand
If the procedures and the relevant paperwork are minimized, we
believe that Turkey may even pass beyond the foregoing numbers. In
any case, Turkey clearly keeps growing dynamically in the aviation
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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