On June 27, 2012, McCarran Airport in Las Vegas, Nev., will open Terminal 3, a $2.4 billion addition to the existing two-terminal building. T3’s main purpose will be to serve international flights and help alleviate traffic for other areas in the airport, but as a result, will also help bring international meetings to the Las Vegas area.
The opening of Terminal 3 is a move toward eventually closing Terminal 2, the outdated international charter facility located at the north end of the airport complex. By the end of August, all flights from the current D gates will also operate out of T3.
By splitting traffic between two facilities, traveling to Vegas from other countries will become much easier.
“Terminal 3’s expanded gating options and enlarged U.S. Customs and Border Protection port will make it easier for international travelers to be more quickly processed once their flights have landed,” said Randall H. Walker, director of aviation for Clark County. “McCarran will have more ability to manage its peak periods by splitting passenger traffic.
The new airport terminal is equipped with 14 TSA security checkpoints, with 17 more lanes available for when passenger traffic gets heavy. Over 25 counters will be open for checking passports and security documents, as well as 15 baggage carousels, making it easier for guests to get in and out of the facility quickly.
The addition of a new international terminal is expected to have a positive effect on the entire Las Vegas community, but will directly affect the tradeshow industry.
“Terminal 3 not only opens the doors to a whole new experience for the international traveler, it’s a game changer for the meetings and conventions industry,” said Chris Meyer, CEM, CMP, vice president of sales for the LVCVA. “Our recent ranking as the top tradeshow destination in the country for the 18th straight year proves that Las Vegas is a place that is serious about doing business.”
Compared to 2010, international traffic in Las Vegas was up 27 percent during the last six months of 2011. The LVCVA hopes to grow that traffic exponentially in the next decade, and Terminal 3 will play a huge factor.
“McCarran handles nearly half of Southern Nevada’s approximately 40 million annual visitors, so any changes that benefit the airport will in turn benefit others,” said Walker. “The main benefit of Terminal 3 is that the airport will not be an impediment to future growth anytime soon.”