What to know about Reno-Tahoe Airport’s next phase of construction

What to know about Reno-Tahoe Airport’s next phase of construction

Photo via Unsplash

By Aleza Freeman

August 9, 2023

Buckle your seatbelts. The next phase of a billion-dollar transformation to the Reno-Tahoe International Airport (RNO) is ready for takeoff.

The multi-year infrastructure project, known as MoreRNO, recently entered Phase 2. Passengers can expect to see construction on the airport’s main entrance as well as the development of an ADA-accessible, six-lane Loop Road for passenger drop-off and pick-up. 

The Skybridge will not be accessible from the parking garage during this time, so traffic will be detoured to a lower level for terminal access.

While the Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority has signage posted for wayfinding purposes, passengers are encouraged to arrive at least two hours before any outgoing flight.

MoreRNO is the largest construction project in the Northern Nevada airport’s 94-year history, intended to improve customer experience, enhance operations, and increase revenue. Built in 1929 as Hubbard Field and renamed Stead Army Base in 1951, the airport became the Reno-Stead Airport in 1966 and the Reno-Tahoe International Airport in 1994.

The Airport Authority kicked off the current infrastructure project in 2022 with a continuing 10,000 square-foot expansion to the airport’s ticketing hall to improve circulation and queuing, add restrooms, upgrade travel technology and attract more natural light. In June, the airport unveiled a mural inspired by Nevada wildlife and agriculture in its lobby, titled “Fly With Us,” by native Nevadan artist Matthew McDowell.

Once Phase 2 is complete, Phase 3 brings the addition of 700 parking spaces in the garage, along with changes for the ground transportation center for rental cars, rideshares, taxis, and public transportation. 

Phase 4 starts in 2024 and will update technology related to airline scheduling and shared kiosks, while adding 28 gates, new concourses, restaurants, and shops.

The project will be funded through federal, state, and private funding rather than local and state tax revenue.

It appears the 4-phase infrastructure project couldn’t come at a better time. In the first half of 2023 alone, RNO saw its highest passenger numbers in 15 years with 2.18 million passengers–an increase of 3.6% compared to the same period in 2019.

  • Aleza Freeman

    Aleza Freeman is a Las Vegas native and award-winning journalist with two decades of experience writing and editing lifestyle, travel, entertainment, and human interest stories in Nevada. Her work has appeared in AARP magazine, Haute Living and Nevada Magazine.

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