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LAS VEGAS (AP) — Las Vegas is about to mark the opening of a $2.4 billion airport terminal that officials are hoping will help lift the southern Nevada economy from the depths of the Great Recession.

McCarran International Airport chief Randall Walker calls Terminal 3 crucial to serving tourists from the U.S. and Britain, plus places like South Korea, the Philippines, Amsterdam and Berlin.

Opening day is Wednesday, and the second overseas arrival will be an inaugural Copa Airlines nonstop from Panama City.

The first full day of operations will be Thursday.

Gleaming and glassy T3 adds 14 gates and an eight-story parking structure to an airport currently ranked as the eighth-busiest in the U.S. and 23nd busiest worldwide by passenger volume.

Walker says the project came in on time and on budget.

© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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