Wednesday, Dec. 6, 1978 | 6 a.m.
A $216 million McCarran International Airport terminal and runway expansion project was approved by a unanimous vote of the Clark County Commission Tuesday.
Tuesday's action gives airport officials authorization to complete the McCarran master plan, which details growth plans into the year 2000.
It is designed to ease McCarran's tremendous growth pains created by the sudden influx of new airline carriers serving the Las Vegas area.
Recent deregulation legislation will result in a surge of new airlines coming to Las Vegas. This year the present seven carriers will jump to 12; airport officials predict another five or six will be added in 1979.
Upon completion, the multi-million dollar expansion project will house up to 80 gates, whereas the present terminal holds 34.
Phase 1 of the long-term package is scheduled to get off the ground in 1983.
At an estimated cost of $133.8 million, the land will be purchased, a terminal complete with a centralized baggage area, concession facilities and a three-tier parking garage will be erected.
A new parallel east/west runway 1,000 feet south of the existing runway will also be built during the two-year first phase of construction.
Under the growth scheme granted conceptual approval Tuesday, the existing terminal building will be updated and then connected with the new facility by a linking bridgeway.
Included in Phase 1 is a satellite terminal to hold up to 20 gates, according to McCarran Aviation Director John Solomon.
The final master plan report is expected to be completed within 90 days.
Exact funding sources have not yet been pinpointed. However, the bulk of funding will come through revenue bonds.
One of the financial questions under study is how much federal aid McCarran officials will get for the project, according to Solomon.
The second phase of construction calls for expansion of the large central terminal, along with construction of two additional satellite terminals.
The recent Civil Aeronautics Board deregulation legislation increasingly enables airlines to determine without federal intervention where and when they will fly.
By 1981 the CAB will be entirely out of the business of awarding routes.