Aviation News

March 13, 2012

Las Vegas Set to Celebrate New Terminal at McCarran Airport

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By: Dan Landson
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A sign welcomes flyers arriving at McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas
A sign welcomes flyers arriving at McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas. (Photo by craftvision/istockphoto)
It’ll be a festive June for Nevadans and the people behind Las Vegas McCarran International Airport’s brand new Terminal 3. This summer Clark County will cut the ribbon on the $2.4 billion facility which will push McCarran into a new level of customer service.

Details of how McCarran plans to celebrate the grand opening were revealed during a recent Clark County Commission meeting. Department of Aviation director Randall Walker told commissioners he’s expecting to spend about $600,000 over the course of four events spread out during a two and a half week period.

The public will be invited to two of those events, the first being a fun run set for June 2. Runners will get the chance to run on all the new airport access roads built to handle “T3” traffic. The following weekend, on June 9, the airport will hold a public open house. Everyone is invited to come out and check out the 1.9 million square foot terminal that’s been years in the making.

The Department of Aviation will fund $200,000 of the $600,000 and the rest will come from donations from companies who are either doing business inside T3 or those companies that helped build the facility.

When officially opened, the terminal will be one of the most high-tech facilities in the world. Passengers will eventually be able to put their own tags on their luggage, there are even self-boarding gates (currently being tried by some airlines and airports) and self-docking gates. In all there will be 14 gates with about half being used for domestic arrivals and departures and the others being used for international traffic.

T3 will start operating on June 27th with the arrival of the first international flights. The current international terminal, Terminal 2, will be closed and equipment will be moved overnight. Domestic carriers will make the move in phases during July and August.

The airport has come under some scrutiny for building during one of the worst economic declines in Las Vegas history. However, Walker said that had the terminal not been built when it was it would not be able to handle the number of passengers expected to return as the economy rebounds.