First post-9/11 US airport terminal opens in Las Vegas

First post-9/11 US airport terminal opens in Las Vegas

Officials at the Clark County Department of Aviation are celebrating the opening of the new Terminal 3 building at the McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas.

A technologically advanced, 1.9 million-square-foot expansion, the new development will significantly improve the travel experience for the more than 40 million passengers who annually fly through the seventh-busiest airport in the United States.

“T3” is the first unit terminal to be constructed in the United States in the post-9/11 era.

It includes 14 gates, seven of which can be used for international arrivals; an expansive ticketing lobby; space for two Transportation Security Administration checkpoints with up to 31 lanes; an eight-story garage with room for nearly 6,000 vehicles; more than a dozen stores and restaurants; and an automated tram system that enables Terminal 3 to handle the check-in, security and baggage claim needs of up to 26 gates at McCarran’s nearby D Concourse.

Coupled with the airport’s existing infrastructure, Terminal 3 increases McCarran’s annual capacity to approximately 53 million passengers; its historic peak was nearly 48 million passengers in 2007.

“After years of planning and construction, it was amazing to see the first passengers and aircraft arrive here on Terminal 3’s first day of operations,” said Clark County director of aviation Randall Walker.

“It took a great deal of time and dedication to achieve this goal, and I would like to thank the members of the Clark County Board of Commissioners for their commitment to seeing this project to fruition.

“McCarran provides the first and last impressions of Las Vegas to tens of millions of travelers each year, and with T3 we’re now well poised to serve those passengers’ needs for years to come.”

McCarran has long been recognised as a global leader in aviation technology, and Terminal 3 will further that reputation thanks in part to several new amenities it offers.

Each check-in area is equipped with kiosks that allow passengers on participating air carriers to tag their own checked baggage, a time-saving initiative that has proven popular with travelers in recent trials.

Terminal 3 allows McCarran to move some air carriers to relieve peak period congestion at Terminal 1.

T3 will initially serve 16 international carriers, with Alaska, Frontier, JetBlue, Sun Country and Virgin America scheduled to move in on July 31st.

Hawaiian and United will relocate their ticketing and baggage claim to T3 on August 22nd, though those airlines’ flights will remain at the nearby D gates.