A similar structural change that McCarran officials hope will reduce wait times is a new 8-mile roadway system dedicated strictly to T3. One of the goals, Vassiliadis says, is to reduce auto traffic that currently all goes to the main terminal area.
Similarly, McCarran's notoriously long taxi queues could see an improvement. T3 and the main terminal will have their own stands.
But, aside from a better experience for customers, McCarran authorities hope that T3 will help position the airport for growth, as travel to Las Vegas continues a strong rebound from a slump that began in 2008. In particular, the airport hopes the international capabilities help it continue to attract foreign visitors, a segment Vassiliadis says has been "our shining star" the past three years.
T3 will open with an arrival from Virgin Atlantic, followed by one from Panama's Copa Airlines, McCarran's newest carrier.
In fact, Copa's first-ever flight to Las Vegas comes June 27 — a new arrival that will help McCarran inaugurate T3. Copa opens yet a new front in the region's bid to lure international visitors.
The route — to Copa's hub in Panama City— is Las Vegas' first regularly scheduled non-stop route to a Latin American destination outside Mexico. From Panama City, Copa will offer connections to Las Vegas from major South American cities, such as Sao Paulo, Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro.
Access to those markets is "very exciting," Vassiliadis says. "It opens all of South America for us."