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Vegas airport power outage planned

24 August 2007

LAS VEGAS, Nevada -- Some tourists landing in Las Vegas late tonight anxious to scratch their gambling itch will have to wait, at least until they get out of the airport concourse.

A planned power outage will leave the D concourse at McCarran International Airport with fewer services from about 10 p.m. tonight until 10 a.m. Saturday, airport officials said.

The outage won't affect flight timing and travelers won't need to adjust their schedules, but food and beverage sales will be limited in the terminal and the slot machines will be silent.

The power outage is to accommodate construction of utility service for McCarran's Terminal 3, a project that will add 14 passenger loading gates to McCarran. It is scheduled to open in 2011.

The outage is timed to coincide with the slowest hours for traffic at the airport.

"This is the slowest period of time that we have," said Randall Walker, director of the Clark County Department of Aviation. "Whenever we shut things down, it becomes inconvenient for some people."

Although the electricity isn't scheduled to go off until 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, many of the services in the concourse will shut down around 10 p.m. today. That will give restaurant, retail store and other service providers time to prepare for the outage.

There will still be some food and beverage sales, but they will be limited to prepackaged items that don't require preparation. Air conditioning and some escalators will also be shut down. Restrooms, elevators and life safety systems will be operational throughout the outage.

Airport officials urged passengers who want services to get them before heading to the D gates security checkpoint. They're also reminding passengers that beverages will not be allowed through the checkpoint.

"The main thing is, the planes will operate in and out on time," Walker said.

The airport plans to provide extra staff members to direct passengers on the 42 flights scheduled to arrive and depart the D concourse during the outage. Airlines and ground crews will use generators for electricity to support operations.

Airlines with operations in the affected area include AirTran, Allegiant, American, Continental, Delta, Frontier, JetBlue, Midwest, Northwest, Spirit and United/Ted. Flights in the A, B and C concourses and Terminal 2 won't be affected by the outage.

Airport officials expect another outage to accommodate construction within two or three weeks, Walker said.