Progress takes flight

The power of the WIRTGEN GROUP is driving the construction of the biggest airport in the world: plants and machines from WIRTGEN, VÖGELE, HAMM and BENNINGHOVEN are playing a vital part in the construction of the “New Istanbul Airport”.

After just three years of construction, the world‘s biggest airport (measured by passenger numbers) is set to go into operation in 2018, initially with two runways, expanding to three by 2019 and, by the end of the project in 2028, to six. The İstanbul Yeni Havalimanı, to give the “New Istanbul Airport” its official name, is also the biggest infrastructure project in the history of Turkey. As so often on airport job sites, WIRTGEN GROUP technologies are on the radar. That is also the case with the developer İGA, a consortium of the five leading Turkish contractors Cengiz, MAPA, Limak, Kolin and Kalyon. The construction companies have opted for a WIRTGEN GROUP fleet comprising over 50 machines and plants. To be precise, BENNINGHOVEN asphalt mixing plants, VÖGELE road pavers as well as HAMM compactors and tandem rollers for soil and asphalt compaction will be responsible for getting the job site set for take-off. WIRTGEN slipform pavers will be used to build a number of concrete taxiways.

The “New Istanbul Airport” is designed for 150-200 million passengers per year. This will set a new world record. The new-build project comprises six runways on an area of around 9,000ha. The number 1 airport to date is Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (USA), with around 105 million passengers per year.

HAMM compactors lay the perfect foundations

The earthworks for the new airport were a major project in themselves. On this 9,000ha site, the challenge was to create a base with a high load-bearing capacity. But, with their operating weight of 16t, the 10 HAMM 3516 compactors which took on the job were more than up to the task. The unbound layers of gravel and crushed stone were compacted with ease by the Series 3000 machines. They offer a winning combination of high centrifugal force and static linear load.

A team with a high compacting power: HAMM rollers tackle the toughest jobs, whether they are used for earthworks or – as in the photo – for compacting the water-bound base.

Strip by strip, the machines compacted the layers of material which had been placed by lorries (dumping height 30–40cm) and spread by graders – laying the basis for an infrastructure that scores high on superlatives. A key advantage of HAMM technology for earthworks is the 3-point articulation developed by HAMM. It provides for outstanding all-terrain mobility, supporting safe manœuvring even on rough ground. It also offers excellent driving comfort, since jolts are effectively dampened.

Six BENNINGHOVEN asphalt mixing plants form the backbone of the job site

A glimpse at the fleet of vehicles highlights the massive scale of the airport project: over 3,000 modern lorries are in use – many of them to transport material. The high-quality asphalt mix for the runway construction is being produced by 6 BENNINGHOVEN mixing plants, one each of the types TBA 3000 and TBA 4000 and two each of types ECO 3000 and ECO 4000, with mixing capacities of 240t/h and 320t/h. This corresponds to up to 1680t per hour, depending on the type of asphalt to be produced. The mix for the surface course consists of a stone mastic asphalt with polymermodified bitumen. The material is used for surfaces which are subjected to heavy stresses and consists of a mix with a high proportion of aggregate, polymer-modified bitumen and stabilizing additives for the bitumen. The composition is balanced so as to ensure lasting resistance to deformation, producing surface courses which are robust, safe for traffic and have a long service life. All BENNINGHOVEN plants can handle such challenging production processes – including the transportable asphalt mixing plant (TBA) or the plant in container design, ECO for short.

Transportable asphalt mixing plant in a container design

“A big box of wonders”: ECO creates flexibility

The BENNINGHOVEN ECO plant is a particularly suitable choice when asphalt mixing plants are required on temporary sites, as in Istanbul. It combines cutting-edge BENNINGHOVEN technologies with a high standard of production, all within compact containers, guaranteeing maximum mobility and flexibility.

ECO plants can be operated as stationary units, but can also handle rapid changes of location without difficulty. Since all main components are designed in ISO standard container dimensions (20 or 40 feet), they are also easy to transport by lorry, ship or rail. Meanwhile, these high-performing plants with fixed options guarantee optimum mix quality. Another winning feature of the ECO model – as with all BENNINGHOVEN plants – is the maintenance-friendly, high-quality and long-lived components.


  • Transportable asphalt mixing plant in a container design
  • Can be set up quickly
  • Intelligent modular system
  • Easy transport
  • Compact plant
  • Low logistics costs
  • Mixing capacities from 100t/h (ECO 1250) to 320t/h (ECO 4000)

VÖGELE pavers in formation flight

A total of 12 VÖGELE pavers are in operation, laying asphalt for the runways and a number of taxiways. In addition to the latest “Dash 3” generation of SUPER pavers (3 SUPER 2100-3), some of the paving teams are also working with predecessor models (3 SUPER 2100-2 and 6 SUPER 1900-2). These pavers have already completed many thousands of operating hours and are proof of the great longevity and reliability of VÖGELE technology. The machines are constructing the first three of a total of six runways – comprising a 29cm base course, a 12cm binder course and a 4cm surface course.

Teamwork increases quality: the entire fleet of 12 SUPER pavers is working “hot to hot”. This means the joints are significantly better protected against water penetration and can withstand stresses for longer.

Asphalt paving over an area of 2.2 million m²

The fleet of 12 VÖGELE pavers is equipped with extending or fixed-width screeds of types AB 600 TV or SB 250 TV. The AB 600 Extending Screeds have a basic width of 3m and can pave at widths of up to 9.5m when fitted with bolt-on extensions. On the airport job site, the SUPER 1900-2 Highway Class pavers operate with the AB 600 TV Extending Screed at a width of 7.5m.

The SUPER 2100-2 and SUPER 2100-3 pavers are also in the Highway Class and are combined with SB 250 TV Fixed-Width Screeds. Their basic width is 2.5m, but this can be extended to 13m using fixed and hydraulic bolt-on extensions. On the job site, the pave width is 12m. In this configuration, the tracked pavers work “hot to hot”, consistently meeting the high demands on both quality and productivity as they pave the 3,750m or 4,100m-long and 75m-wide runways and a number of taxiways – a total area of 2.2 million m².

HAMM tandem rollers compact the runways

A total of around 20 HAMM Series HD+ and HD tandem rollers are being used to compact the vast asphalt surfaces. They ensure rapid compaction and large area coverage thanks to the large drums. The kneading effect of the GRW 280-10 and GRW 15 rubber-wheeled rollers guarantees good surface sealing. With so many HAMM rollers in action, the runways are positively bustling with vehicles. In these circumstances, visibility is a key factor for efficient working and the avoidance of accidents.

To that end, HAMM rollers have excellent all-round visibility thanks to a large operator‘s platform or the large, all-round glazed panoramic cabin that allows a clear view of the working area directly around the roller and the surrounding area on the job site. This visibility ensures the quality of the compacting work and a high level of safety.

WIRTGEN slipform pavers building concrete taxiways

When it comes to building concrete taxiways, the İGA consortium similarly brooks no compromises, electing to use machines from WIRTGEN, the market leader in slipform pavers. Initially, two SP 500 models with dowel bar inserters, one SP 25 and one TCM 95 texture curing machine were used for the concrete paving work. They are paving taxiways with a depth of 40cm and a width of 2-6m. However, the technology was such a sensation on site that the customer ordered a further “machine set” comprising an SP 500 – one of the last concrete pavers of this type manufactured – and a TCM 95 from the WIRTGEN brand headquarters in Windhagen (Germany). The SP 500 – which has been a genuine WIRTGEN triumph – is being replaced by the new SP 60 series. The slipform pavers in this series are proven masters in inset and offset applications and can be equipped with a range of options, including a dowel bar inserter. This is the case for the three SP 500 machines in Istanbul. They insert dowel bars at spacings of 38-50cm, thus ensuring the correct height of adjacent slabs.

The taxiways in the apron area are being paved in concrete. Three WIRTGEN slipform pavers ensure that the surfaces can handle the high concentrated loads from waiting aircraft.

TCM 95 texture curing machine for optimum texture of the concrete surfacing

The WIRTGEN TCM 95 is the ideal co-pilot to accompany the SP 500 mid-range concrete paver or the new SP 60 and even the SP 90 series. The texture curing machine is equipped with an automatic spraying and brooming system. Once the surface has been broomed to the desired texture, the spraying unit applies dispersion to the fresh concrete surfacing to retard the evaporation of curing moisture, preventing stresses and the cracks this can cause. The TCM 95 is equipped with four wheeled chassis and covers working widths of up to 9.5m.

Job site details
Construction of the “New Istanbul Airport”, Turkey
Project parameters
Size of section: 9.000 ha
Runways: 1 + 2 completed by 2018 (3,750m + 4,100m long, 75m wide)
3 completed by 2019 (3,750m long, 75m wide);
total of 6 completed by 2028
Terminals: 3
Passenger volume: 150-200 million passengers/year
Freight volume: around 6 million t
Earthworks: 10 HAMM 3516 compactors
Asphalt paving: 2 BENNINGHOVEN TBA asphalt mixing plants
(1 TBA 3000, 1 TBA 4000)
4 BENNINGHOVEN ECO asphalt mixing plants
(2 ECO 3000, 2 ECO 4000)
3 VÖGELE SUPER 2100-3 pavers
with SB 250 TV Fixed-Width Screed
3 VÖGELE SUPER 2100-2 pavers
with SB 250 TV Fixed-Width Screed
6 VÖGELE SUPER 1900-2 pavers
with AB 600 TV Extending Screed
9 HAMM HD+ 140 VV rollers
8 HAMM HD 110 rollers
1 HAMM HD 13 VT roller
2 HAMM HD 14 VV rollers
1 HAMM GRW 280-10 roller
4 HAMM GRW 15 rollers
Concrete paving: 3 WIRTGEN SP 500 slipform pavers with dowel bar inserters
2 WIRTGEN TCM 95 texture curing machines
1 WIRTGEN SP 25 slipform paver

“My first WIRTGEN GROUP machine was a VÖGELE SUPER 1800 – that was 20 years ago now. Today, we also have WIRTGEN cold milling machines, HAMM rollers and BENNINGHOVEN asphalt mixing plants – that’s over 100 machines and plants in total. We use only WIRTGEN GROUP original spare parts. The quality and rapid availability via the WIRTGEN GROUP sales and service company WIRTGEN Ankara are unbeatable.”
Veysi Koloğlu, Board Member Kolin İnsaat construction company, a contractor in the İGA consortium