McCarran to open more gates for international passengers

Even before it opens, management at McCarran International Airport has decided that they had too few gates for flights from other countries.

On Tuesday, the Clark County Board of Commissioners approved a $333,000 contract to extend a corridor that will be used by deplaning passengers from outside the United States. The corridor, in the $2.4-billion Terminal 3 due to open in June, directs them to custom and immigration stations before going else where.

This will increase the number of international gates from six to seven. By closing and opening certain doors, the gates and also be used for domestic flights.

Airport planners found that 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Thursdays was a particularly popular window for international airlines to bring in flights. While six gates might have accommodated them, any disruption in the schedules could have caused problems.

At Terminal 2, which currently hosts international carriers with four gates, the solution has been to have the airlines spread out their schedules to avoid a jam.

However, said Clark County Department of Aviation director Randall Walker, “We did not want to open the new terminal by telling the airlines they could not come at the times they want.”

Contact reporter Tim O’Reiley at or 702-387-5290.

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