Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority


Reno, NV




Architecture, Interior Design, Engineering, Planning

Located just five minutes from downtown Reno and 40 minutes from Lake Tahoe, Reno-Tahoe International Airport (RNO) serves as the gateway to an outdoor-lover’s paradise. From improvements that provide faster and more efficient baggage screening to multiphase terminal renovations that enhance airport security, Gresham Smith has provided a variety of design services to RNO over the years, helping the airport reach its goal of creating a memorable experience for passengers.

square-foot consolidated security checkpoint
square feet of new retail and restaurant concessions
the ticket counters inside Reno Tahoe International Airport

Reflecting the Region

Like many airports post-9/11, RNO was struggling to maintain adequate customer service in a ticket lobby occupied by explosive detection system (EDS) equipment. To update the airport’s ticketing and baggage-screening processes and aesthetics, Gresham Smith designed a three-matrix EDS system, which moved the machines behind the ticketing wall in order to recapture a significant amount of lobby space. We also designed updates to the much larger lobby, incorporating interior finishes of stone and wood materials that reflect the Lake Tahoe region.

the security screening area inside Reno Tahoe International Airport

Streamlining Screening & Security

We helped the airport increase its level of passenger service by converting its baggage screening to a back-of-house, automated in-line system. The system design increases the baggage makeup area from 28,526 square feet to 52,599 square feet, and utilizes faster, more efficient scanning technology, greatly reducing the potential for human error. We also designed a new 18,000-square-foot consolidated security checkpoint, bringing all passenger screening to a centralized location on the first floor.

a restaurant with a view of the airfield inside Reno Tahoe International Airport

Retail that Reaches New Heights

The Gateway Program’s two-story building also included more than 10,000 square feet of retail and restaurant concession space designed on the second floor. A majority of the restaurants and stores previously located in pre-security areas were moved past security to an expanded second-floor courtyard area where travelers can enjoy spectacular views and concession options while waiting for flights.