Travelers will soon have more room stretch out and more spaces to park in, once John Wayne Airport officially opens its new Terminal C on Monday.
Officials on Wednesday previewed the building with six additional gates, a 2,000-space parking structure, and the latest security and ticketing technology.
Originally proposed to meet bursting air travel demand, Terminal C opens amid a tepid market and weak economy. John Wayne operates under its limit of 10.8 million passengers annually, but officials expect traffic to pick back up.
Terminal C is the capstone of the airport's $543-million expansion and renovations, first approved by the county Board of Supervisors in 2004. For the most part, the project has been delivered on time and on budget.
"It has gone very well," said Airport Director Alan Murphy, who managed the troubled construction of the Thomas F. Riley Terminal in the late 1980s. "In comparison, this one has been very smooth."