New terminal opens at Las Vegas’ McCarran International Airport

A new technologically advanced terminal is now open at McCarran International Airport.

Terminal 3, or “T3,” a 1.9 million-square-foot expansion, is the first unit terminal to be constructed in the United States in the post-9/11 era. The terminal, which includes 14 gates, seven of which can be used for international arrivals, is aimed at improving the travel experience for the more than 40 million passengers who annually fly through McCarran, the nation’s seventh-busiest airport, officials say.

The new terminal also includes an eight-story garage with room for nearly 6,000 vehicles and space for two Transportation Security Administration (TSA) checkpoints with up to 31 lanes. Coupled with the airport’s existing infrastructure, T3 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,” Clark County Director of Aviation Randall H. Walker said in a news release. “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.”

An automated tram system also enables Terminal 3 to handle the check-in, security and baggage claim needs of up to 26 gates at McCarran’s nearby D Concourse.

“Las Vegas expects to welcome a record 40 million visitors in 2012, and the new terminal will help us achieve that goal,” Rossi Ralenkotter, president/CEO of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority said in a news release. “The visitor experience in Terminal 3 is unlike any other in the country and delivers on our brand promise. Visitors will immediately have a unique sense of place and receive the type of welcome we want to provide.”

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