McCarran International Airport
|McCarran International Airport|
|IATA: LAS – ICAO: KLAS – FAA LID: LAS
– WMO: 72386
|Operator||Clark County Department of Aviation|
|Serves||Las Vegas, Nevada|
|Focus city for|
|Elevation AMSL||2,181 ft / 665 m|
FAA airport diagram
|Sources: ACI and FAA|
McCarran International Airport (IATA: LAS, ICAO: KLAS, FAA LID: LAS) is the principal commercial airport serving Las Vegas and Clark County, Nevada, United States. The airport is about 5 miles (8.0 km) south of downtown Las Vegas, in the unincorporated area of Paradise in Clark County. It covers 2,800 acres (1,100 ha) and has four runways. McCarran is owned by Clark County and operated by the Clark County Department of Aviation (DOA). It is a focus city for Allegiant Air and Southwest Airlines; and is the largest operation base for both Allegiant and Southwest. The airport became a crew and maintenance base for Spirit Airlines in February 2012. It is named after the former Nevada Senator Pat McCarran (1876–1954).
In 2012 McCarran ranked 24th in the world for passenger traffic, with 40,799,830 passengers passing through the terminal. The airport ranked 8th in the world for aircraft movements with 527,739 takeoffs and landings. McCarran and the DOA are self-sufficient enterprises, requiring no money from the County's general fund.
As of November 2009 Southwest Airlines operated more flights out of McCarran than any other airport. Southwest also carries the most passengers in and out of McCarran. Southwest currently operates out of 21 gates, primarily in Concourse C. Since 2008, Canadian airline WestJet has become the largest international carrier at McCarran serving 12 cities in Canada with up to 15 daily departures.
The largest scheduled airlines at McCarran by passengers carried in the first 11 months of 2009 are Southwest Airlines (38.3%), US Airways/US Airways Express (11.8%), United Airlines/United Express (6.9%), Delta Air Lines/Delta Connection (5.6%), and American Airlines (5.5%).
- 1 History
- 2 Terminals
- 3 Airlines and destinations
- 4 Transportation
- 5 Future
- 6 Howard W. Cannon Aviation Museum
- 7 Airport public art
- 8 Airline lounges
- 9 See also
- 10 References
- 11 External links
American aviator George Crockett, a descendant of frontiersman Davy Crockett, established Alamo Airport in 1942 on the site currently occupied by McCarran International. In 1929 the old Las Vegas Airport, which would become Nellis AFB, was nothing more than a dirt runway, a water well and a small operations shack for Western Air Express Airlines. The United States Army Air Corps had been looking at the Las Vegas area since the 1930s, when it had used the Western Air Express Field—later renamed McCarran Field, northeast of Las Vegas for its training flights. In 1941 the Army concluded a lease with the City of Las Vegas to use McCarran Field until construction was completed on the gunnery range airfield. In 1942 the old Las Vegas Airport was still operating commercial flights, when TWA Flight 3 crashed. On January 16, 1942, 15 minutes after takeoff from the old Las Vegas Airport (now Nellis AFB) bound for Burbank, the aircraft slammed into a sheer cliff on Potosi Mountain, 32 miles southwest of the airport, at an elevation of 7,770 ft above sea level, and was destroyed. All nineteen passengers on board, including movie star Carole Lombard, married to Hollywood legend Clark Gable, with her mother, and all three crew members, died in the crash. In 1948 Clark County purchased the airfield from Crockett to establish the Clark County Public Airport, and all commercial operations moved there. On December 20, 1948 the airport was renamed McCarran Field for U.S. Senator Pat McCarran, a longtime Nevada politician who authored the Civil Aeronautics Act and played a major role in developing aviation nationwide.
The April 1957 Official Airline Guide shows 33 weekday departures on Western, United, TWA and Bonanza. Nonstops to Chicago started about 1954 and to New York in 1963.
The terminal moved from Las Vegas Boulevard South to Paradise Road, opening on March 15, 1963. The terminal, designed by Welton Becket and Associates and John Replogle, was inspired by the TWA terminal at JFK. It was the basis for the United Airlines terminal at O'Hare International Airport seven years later.
In 1978 Senator Howard Cannon pushed the Airline Deregulation Act through Congress. Airlines no longer had to get the federal government's permission to fly to a city, but instead dealt directly with airports. After deregulation the number of airlines at McCarran doubled from seven to 14. (In the Feb 1978 OAG Las Vegas had flights on TWA, Western, United, National, Delta, Frontier, Hughes Airwest and seven commuter airlines.)
An expansion plan, McCarran 2000, was adopted in 1978 and funded by a $300 million bond issue in 1982. The three-phase plan included a new central terminal; a nine-level parking facility; runway additions and expansions; additional gates; upgraded passenger assistance facilities; and a new tunnel and revamped roadways into the airport. The first phase of McCarran 2000 opened in 1985 and was completed by 1987.
In the 1990s all gates and check in counters were upgraded to use a common set of computer hardware. CUTE, Common Use Terminal Equipment. This eliminates the need for each airline to have their own equipment and allows the airport to reassign gates and counters without having to address individual airlines' computer systems. While portions of Los Angeles International Airport and San Francisco International Airport deployed CUTE prior to McCarran, as of 2008 it is the only major airport in the USA that is 100 percent common use. (White Plains, N.Y., is also a 100 percent common use airport, though it has only eight gates.) McCarran's CUTE system also supports several airlines' use of the Cockpit Access Security System, or CASS. In Europe and to some extent the Asia-Pacific rim CUTE has been prevalent for much longer.
On October 16, 2003 the airport installed SpeedCheck kiosks which allow customers to obtain a boarding pass without having to go to a specific airline kiosk or counter. McCarran was the first airport in the US to provide this service and the first in the world to provide the service to all airlines from a single kiosk. At the same time, six kiosks were activated at the Las Vegas Convention Center allowing convention attendees to get boarding passes on their way to the airport. This system was enhanced to add printing of baggage tags in 2005.
In 2003 the airport announced it was implementing a baggage-tracking system that will use Radio-frequency identification (RFID) bag tags from Matrics Inc. to improve air safety. The decision to implement the tracking system makes McCarran one of the first airports to use the RFID technology airportwide.
On January 4, 2005 the airport started offering wireless internet service at no charge. The signal is available in the boarding areas and most other public areas. While not the first airport to offer free WiFi throughout the entire facility, the airport was perhaps the first major airport with free WiFi throughout. At the time, this was the largest (2 million square feet (180,000 m²)) free wireless Internet installation in the world.
In 2005 the D Gates NE wing opened adding 10 gates.
On April 4, 2007 the consolidated rental car facility opened, 3 miles (5 km) from the terminals (see Transportation section). The distance from the airport (including a segment of US Interstate 215) requires the facility be permanently linked via bus to the airport.
In 2008 the D Gates NW wing opened with nine more gates.
Due to Continental Airlines moving into the Star Alliance, along with cost-cutting moves at US Airways because of the 2008 night-flight hub closure, the US Airways Club was closed on September 13, 2009. All passengers flying on US Airways or United Airlines could access the Presidents Club in Concourse D. Delta Air Lines' Crown Room lounge had previously closed in 2001.
The US Airways night-flight hub operation, established in 1986 by predecessor America West Airlines, made the carrier McCarran's second busiest airline. Due to the 2008 energy crisis the night hub was closed in September 2008. US Airways closed its crew base on January 31, 2010. On August 31, 2011, US Airways announced that it will keep shrinking its operations by cutting 40% of its flights out of Las Vegas. The airline eliminated nonstop service to Boston, Dallas/Fort Worth, Fresno, Los Angeles, and San Francisco on November 29, 2011 leaving the airline with only flights from Las Vegas to its hubs in Charlotte, Philadelphia, Phoenix, and its focus city at Washington Reagan National Airport.
Meanwhile, the airport has experienced a tremendous growth in international traffic – the number of foreign travelers through the airport saw a 92.4% increase between 2003 and 2011. In the summer of 2010, XL Airways France began the first-ever nonstop flights connecting Paris with Las Vegas. Virgin Atlantic commenced the second regular flights to Manchester the following year, while Arkefly began seasonal flights to Amsterdam in summer 2012 and Copa Airlines to Panama the next June. McCarran's international route network continues to grow, as Edelweiss Air began seasonal flights to Zurich, Switzerland, in May 2014.
McCarran International Airport has two public passenger terminals. Other terminals service private aircraft, U.S. government contractors, sightseeing flights and cargo.
Terminal 1 handles most flights and contains a total of 96 gates in four concourses: Concourse A (A3, A5, A7, A8, A10–A12, A14, A15, A17–A23). Concourse B (gates B1–B2, B6, B9–B12, B14, B15, B17, B19–B25), Concourse C (gates C1–C4, C5, C7–C9, C11, C12, C14, C16, C19, C21–C25), and Concourse D (gates D1–D12, D14, D16–D26, D31–D43, D50–D59), completed in June 1998. The McCarran International Airport Automated People Movers connect with Concourse C and the satellite Concourse D with a centralized check-in and baggage claim area. The C gates were added in October 1987 with a new, 12-lane screening checkpoint added on September 30, 1998.
Terminal 2 opened on December 18, 1991, as The Charter International Terminal and was used for all international as well as most charter flights into Las Vegas. It contained eight gates (T2-1 through T2-8), four of which were equipped with facilities for international flights. Terminal 2 closed on June 28, 2012, and will be demolished at a date that has not been set.
Terminal 3, opened on June 27, 2012, is used for all international flights as well as some domestic airlines. The terminal contains 14 gates in Concourse E (E1–E12, E14–15), with the easternmost seven gates (gates E1–E7) being used for international flights. A people mover system connects Terminal 3 to Concourse D. Gates E1–E3 have two jetways to accommodate large aircraft.
Terminal 3, the largest public works project in Nevada, cost $2.4 billion and was constructed in one phase opening on June 27, 2012. Upon the opening of Terminal 3, the gates at McCarran totaled 117. Terminal 3 has its own bag claim, ticketing and parking facilities (as with Terminal 2) including a multistory parking garage with 5,954 spaces. The 2,300 feet (700 m) long terminal offers 162 check in locations. It has almost 300 slot machines and four welcome signs inspired by the Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign. It was designed by PGAL Architecture, Robert A. Fielden, Inc., and Welles Puglsey Architect.
In addition to hosting all international carriers, Terminal 3 provides Ticketing, Baggage Claim, and Gates for Domestic Carriers Alaska Airlines, Frontier Airlines, JetBlue Airways, Sun Country Airlines, Virgin America, operating out of Concourse E. Air Canada Rouge, Hawaiian Airlines, and United Airlines use Terminal 3 for Ticketing and Baggage Claim, and continue to use Gates in Concourse D.
Airlines and destinations
|1||Los Angeles, California||1,157,000||American, Delta, Southwest, Spirit, United, Virgin America|
|2||Denver, Colorado||882,000||Frontier, Southwest, Spirit, United|
|3||San Francisco, California||845,000||Southwest, United, Virgin America|
|4||Atlanta, Georgia||668,000||AirTran, Delta, Southwest|
|5||Phoenix, Arizona (PHX)||634,000||Southwest, US Airways|
|6||Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas||633,000||American, Spirit|
|7||Seattle/Tacoma, Washington||619,000||Alaska, Southwest, Delta|
|8||Chicago, Illinois (ORD)||551,000||American, Spirit, United|
|9||New York City, New York (JFK)||539,000||American, Delta, JetBlue, Virgin America|
|10||Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota||497,000||Delta, Spirit, Sun Country|
Top international carriers
|Rank||Airline||Passengers (2013)||Passengers (2012)||Destinations||% Change since 2012|
|1||WestJet||1,019,942||975,353||Calgary, Edmonton, Montréal-Trudeau, Toronto-Pearson, Vancouver, Winnipeg
Seasonal: Kelowna, Ottawa, Regina, Saskatoon, Victoria
|2||Air Canada||508,340||479,318||Calgary, Montréal-Trudeau, Toronto-Pearson, Vancouver||6.1|
|3||Virgin Atlantic Airways||312,544||275,533||London-Gatwick, Manchester (UK)||13.4|
|4||British Airways||293,353||231,569||London Gatwick, London-Heathrow||26.7|
|5||Volaris||207,601||235,172||Guadalajara, Mexico City||13.3|
|6||Aeromexico||206,784||192,185||Guadalajara, Mexico City, Monterrey||7.6|
|7||Copa Airlines||93,944||37,507||Panama City||250.0|
|10||Interjet||43,023||2,650||Monterrey, Toluca/Mexico City||1,600|
At McCarran, there is a terminal devoted to cargo airline operations for:
|Antonov Airlines||Hong Kong|
|FedEx Express||Memphis, Oakland, Reno/Tahoe|
|UPS Airlines||Louisville, Ontario|
In 2004 McCarran handled 201,135,520 pounds of cargo.
Other terminal operations
- Fixed base operators
- Signature Flight Support, owned by BBA Aviation Services Group, provides services for private aircraft using McCarran. It also provides equipment and support to other airlines for aircraft types that do not normally fly into McCarran.
- The Las Vegas Executive Air Terminal, owned by Eagle Aviation Resources, is being purchased by Macquarie Infrastructure Company. It provides services for private aircraft using McCarran.
- Helicopter Companies:
- Heli USA Sightseeing
- The EG&G Airlift Terminal, operated by EG&G Technical Services. EG&G flies a variety of aircraft (including Boeing 737s) from McCarran to various U.S. Department of Energy facilities in southern Nevada. The contractors who use this service work at the DoE's Nevada Test Site and Tonopah Test Range.
- Hughes Aviation
McCarran Airport is reached from Tropicana Avenue (State Route 593) to the north or the Las Vegas Beltway (Interstate 215) to the south. Vehicles enter the airport via the McCarran Airport Connector, which includes Paradise Road/Swenson Street and the airport tunnel.
- Route No. 108 provides service to Downtown Las Vegas & Bonnevile Transit Center.
- Route No. 109 services the South Strip Transfer Terminal, the consolidated rental car facility, Downtown Las Vegas, Bonnevile Transit Center, & Maryland Parkway. Route No. 109 operates 24 hours a day.
- "Westcliff Airport Express" provides direct bus service to The Strip around MGM Grand, New York City, Tropicana, & Excalibur Hotels as well as Las Vegas Premium Outlets North, Bonnevile Transit Center, Downtown Las Vegas, & Suncoast Hotel.
- "Strip & Downtown Express" bus service along the Las Vegas Strip connects with Route 109 (south) at the South Strip Transfer Terminal between the hours of 9:00am & 12:30am. "The Deuce on The Strip" service connects with Route 109 between the hours of 12:30 am & 9:00 am.
The Consolidated Rental Car Facility, 3 miles (4.8 km) from the airport at 7135 Gilespie Street, has 5,000 parking spaces on multiple levels and on 68 acres (28 ha) of land. A fleet of 40 buses provides free transportation from the terminals to the facility, which upon opening housed 11 car rental companies. The Facility is not accessible by foot from the Strip. It is accessed by customers via US Interstate 215, or by bus. Rental firms advise customers to allow additional time to account for locating and driving to the facility, and the bus ride back to the airport. Advantage, Savmore, Payless, and Enterprise use an access control system based on single-use bar codes. Participating agencies issue a slip similar to a slot-machine voucher which activates vehicle anti-theft devices in the rental lot, permitting the single vehicle to exit the lot.
In 2007 airport officials estimated the maximum capacity for the airport at 53 million passengers and 625,000 aircraft movements per year. As McCarran was predicted to reach this capacity around 2017, Ivanpah Airport near Primm was planned as a relief airport in the late 1990s. However, due to a downturn in traffic due to the Great Recession, the passenger count dropped to 39.8 million in 2010. Also, recently the FAA began making progress on the Next Generation Air Transportation System to allow more flights per hour essentially increasing capacity beyond 53 million passengers per year. As of June 2011, the Ivanpah Airport is completing environmental assessments but is officially on hold while the Department of Aviation has asked airport planners to study adding additional gates to the former Terminal 2 site once Terminal 3 opens for additional capacity.
Las Vegas Monorail connection
A plan to extend the Las Vegas Monorail to McCarran is under consideration. This proposed extension will add underground stations at Terminal 1 and at Terminal 3. The part of the extension north of the airport will be elevated. This expansion is opposed by taxi and limousine services who garner significant revenues shuttling the public to and from the airport.
- Aircraft apron reconstruction and Terminal 1 rehabilitation (ongoing)
- New FAA control tower
Howard W. Cannon Aviation Museum
The Howard W. Cannon Aviation Museum is located on the Esplanade, Level 2, above the baggage claim area. This small museum is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and concentrates on Las Vegas airline history. Items on display include a copy of the first emergency vehicle that was used on the airfield. Admittance is free. A small branch of the museum is located at the D gates, and some of the other concourses and check-in areas also have small displays. The current curator of the museum is Mark Hall-Patton, a 20th-century historian and administrator of the Clark County Museum, who has frequently appeared as an appraisal expert on the reality television series, Pawn Stars.
Airport public art
Some of the public art displays in McCarran Airport includes:
- Murals in McCarran International Airport D Gates (artists include Tom Holder, Mary Warner, Robert Beckmann, Harold Bradford)
- Greg LeFevre's Flights Paths—in the D Gates rotunda's terrazzo floor
- Tony Milici's steel and glass sculpture at McCarran's D Gates
- McCarran's D Gates feature wall tiles of international skylines by sixteen Clark County fourth graders
- Wildlife sculptures of Clark County wildlife at the D Gates, by David L Phelps
Before its closure, the airport operated a VIP lounge in Terminal 2 for full-fare, first class passengers.
On July 12, 2008 Continental Airlines added a Presidents Club in Terminal 1, Concourse D located between gates 33 and 35 on the 3rd floor. Following the merger with United Airlines, it has been rebranded as a United Club. This club is open from 5:30 AM to 12:30 AM daily and is also open to US Airways Club members.
There are two generic airport lounges, The Club at LAS, which provide casual day entry for a fee at the lounge, which offer paying guests complementary food, beverage and entertainment facilities. One of these is located in Terminal 3, and the other in concourse D in Terminal 1.
In 2013, American Express opened its first-ever Centurion Lounge, in Terminal 1. There is a $50 daily access fee which must be paid on site with an American Express card, thus making the lounge exclusive to AMEX card holders, although some platinum card holders receive complementary access as part of their rewards package.
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to McCarran International Airport.|
- McCarran International Airport, official web site
- History of McCarran airport, onlinenevada.org
- Flight and checkpoint delays, lasvegassun.com
- Howard W. Cannon Aviation Museum – official site
- PDF (58.9 KB) from Nevada DOT
- (PDF), effective July 24, 2014
- FAA Terminal Procedures for LAS, effective July 24, 2014
- Resources for this airport:
- Jeppesen airport diagrams for 1955 and 1966