|Commenced operations||March 1972|
Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S.
|Hubs||Harry Reid International Airport|
|Parent company||Department of the Air Force|
|Headquarters||Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S.|
Janet, sometimes called Janet Airlines, is the unofficial name given to a highly classified fleet of passenger aircraft operated for the United States Department of the Air Force as an employee shuttle to transport military and contractor employees to Special Access Facilities (SAPF). The airline mainly serves the Nevada National Security Site (most notably Area 51 and the Tonopah Test Range) from a private terminal at Las Vegas's Harry Reid International Airport.
The airline's aircraft are generally unmarked aside from a red cheatline along the aircraft's windows.
The fleet's "Janet" call sign is said to stand for "Just Another Non-Existent Terminal" or "Joint Air Network for Employee Transportation".
The first flights from Las Vegas to Area 51 were performed in 1972 by a Douglas DC-6 operated by EG&G. A second Douglas DC-6 was added in 1976 and this type remained in use until 1981. Boeing 737-200s were gradually added in that same decade, which were later supplemented by Air Force T-43s de-modified to conventional transport configurations.
After the October 2017 Las Vegas shooting massacre, news surfaced that the shooter, in addition to firing at concertgoers, had also targeted aviation fuel tanks at nearby McCarran International Airport (now Harry Reid International Airport). Further reporting by the New York Post suggested a possible connection between the vulnerable fuel tanks and a classified Janet operation.
Due to the airline's secretive nature, little is known about its organization. It is presently operated for the USAF by infrastructure and defense contractor Amentum through the company's acquisition of AECOM's defense contracting ventures. Originally the service was operated by EG&G, and later URS Corporation; this is mainly known as a result of periodic job openings published by URS and AECOM. For example, in 2010, URS announced it would be hiring Boeing 737 flight attendants to be based in Las Vegas, requiring applicants to undergo a Single Scope Background Investigation in order to be able to obtain a security clearance.
Due to its secrecy, Janet airlines boards at a standalone terminal on the west side of Harry Reid International Airport.
Janet flights operate with a three-digit flight number and a WWW-prefix. In the official publication of ICAO airline codes, this specific three-letter designator is listed as being blocked. The primary airline callsign is simply "Janet," though flights transition to alternate callsigns, called Groom Callsigns once transferred over to Groom Lake from Nellis control. The name typically changes, and the number will be the last 2 digits of the flight number +15. For example, if the callsign were Janet 412 and were transferred to Groom Lake control, the callsign would be something like "Bunny 27".
Due to its secrecy, Janet Airlines uses special codes for its destinations. KTKM[further explanation needed] is not an ICAO code for an airport, but for Area 51. Not all codes are known, but the following are listed:
|U.S. Air Force Production Flight Test Installation (Plant 42)||Station 1|
|Area 51||Station 3|
|Tonopah Test Range||Station 7|
|Janet Terminal (Harry Reid International Airport)||Station 9|
Janet destinations, mostly military, include:
Along with these destinations, there have been reports of Janet Airlines filing flight plans to many other airports.
As of mid-2015, the Janet fleet consists of six Boeing 737-600s painted white with a prominent red cheatline. The fleet is registered to the Department of the Air Force, while some earlier aircraft were registered to several civil aircraft leasing corporations. Before the arrival of the 737-600s, Janet operated Boeing 737-200s, some of which were modified from military T-43A aircraft. One of the 737-200s with registration N5177C in the 1980s was briefly based in Germany at Frankfurt International Airport (which was at the time also home to a USAF base, Rhein-Main Air Base), and operated by Keyway Air Transport, apparently a front company for a US government operation. It was retired on 6 March 2009. Together with the other 737-200s, it was sent to AMARG at Davis–Monthan Air Force Base in Arizona for storage.
All Janet 737-600 aircraft were acquired from Air China, and four were previously operated by the now-defunct China Southwest Airlines before being acquired for US Air Force operations starting in 2008. The aircraft were initially taken to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base before being transferred to Las Vegas.
One aircraft, a Beechcraft 1900, was lost on 16 March 2004, when it crashed on approach for Tonopah Test Range Airport after the pilot suffered sudden cardiac arrest. Five people, including the pilot, were killed in the accident.
|Type||Serial number||Tail number||C/N||Owner||Fate||Retired||Refs|
|Beechcraft 1900C||UB-37||N27RA||—||United States Department of the Air Force||Crash||16 March 2004|||
|Boeing 737-275||20785||N4529W||335||United States Department of the Air Force||Retired||7 November 2008|||
|Boeing 737-253||20694||N5294M||343||United States Department of the Air Force||Retired||26 January 2009|||
|Boeing 737-253||20693||N5177C||340||United States Department of the Air Force||Retired||6 March 2009|||
|Boeing 737-253||20691||N5294E||337||United States Department of the Air Force||Retired||17 April 2009|||
|Boeing 737-253||20692||N5176Y||339||United States Department of the Air Force||Retired||17 July 2009|||
|Boeing 737-253||20689||N5175U||334||United States Department of the Air Force||Retired||10 August 2009|||
|Douglas DC-6B||S60A-3079||N6583C||—||EG&G||Retired||October 1981|||
|7 mi (11 km) southeast of Tonopah Test Range Airport||W/O||—||Tonopah Test Range Airport||During approach, the pilot reported runway-in-sight, and entered a circle pattern. The pilot then became incapacitated due to sudden cardiac death. During the turn, the plane entered a dive before crashing into the ground and bursting into flames as its fuel load ignited. It was later revealed the pilot suffered from high blood pressure, and had neglected to report it.||16 March 2004, 04:01||All 5 occupants|||
- ^ "N5177C (1974 BOEING 737-200 owned by DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE) Aircraft Registration ✈ FlightAware". FlightAware.
- ^ "Janet Airline / EG&G". Retrieved 21 September 2010.
- ^ "Audio Clips of Janet Radio Traffic". Retrieved 1 November 2010.
- ^ Presenters: Bill Birnes, Kevin Cook and Pat Uskert (25 February 2009). "Area 51 Revealed". UFO Hunters. History Channel.
- ^ Gillett, Rachel (8 January 2018). "The secret airline run by the US government is hiring — and to get the job, you have to share your drinking habits, sexual behavior, and mental health". Business Insider. Retrieved 24 September 2019.
- ^ a b c d "The Janet Fleet". Retrieved 21 September 2010.
- ^ Hanson, Dana (7 October 2021). "Who is the Mysterious Company "Janet Airlines?"". Money Inc. Retrieved 16 January 2023.
- ^ Brady, Chris (28 November 2020). "The T-43A". The Boeing 737 Technical Site. Retrieved 16 January 2023.
- ^ Fears, Danika (5 October 2017). "Vegas maniac may have targeted classified government-run airline's fuel tanks". New York Post. Retrieved 29 December 2017.
- ^ a b Contractflygirl.blogspot.com – archived copy of URS Corporation job opening.
- ^ Archive.org – Archived copy of AECOM Corporation job opening.
- ^ "Map and Aerial Photo of the Las Vegas Janet Terminal". dreamlandresort.com. Dreamland Resort. Archived from the original on 12 April 2019. Retrieved 26 February 2019.
- ^ Flightaware.com – WWW224, page retrieved 21 February 2013
- ^ ICAO Document 8585, Section 3: Three-Letter Designators.
- ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p "Janet Schedule & Destinations". www.dreamlandresort.com. Dreamland Resort. Retrieved 3 October 2010.
- ^ "N654RA - Beeach 1900C - Flightradar24". flightradar24.com. Flightradar24. Retrieved 29 March 2019.
- ^ "N623RA - Beeach 1900C - Flightradar24". flightradar24.com. Flightradar24. Retrieved 29 March 2019.
- ^ "N632RA Live Flight Tracking and History (B190 owned by DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE)". flightaware.com. Flight Aware. Retrieved 7 March 2019.
- ^ "Janet Flight Schedules". dreamlandresort.com. Dreamland Resort. Archived from the original on 4 April 2007. Retrieved 4 March 2019.
- ^ Krum, Collin. "America's Secret Airline Flies Non-Stop To Area 51". Jalopnik. Retrieved 29 December 2017.
- ^ Rainer Bexten – Airliners.net – Aerial photo taken at Davis–Monthan Air Force Base. Photo from 29 February 2012.
- ^ Flightaware.com – Delivery flight of N288DP. Page retrieved 21 February 2013.
- ^ Ranter, Harro. "ASN Aircraft accident Beechcraft 1900C N27RA Tonopah-Test Range Airport, NV (XSD)". aviation-safety.net.
- ^ Leadbeater, Chris (4 January 2018). "The top-secret US airline that you're not supposed to know about". The Telegraph. United Kingdom. Archived from the original on 12 January 2022. Retrieved 20 April 2018.
- ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s "The Janet Fleet". dreamlandresort.com. Dreamland Resort. Retrieved 26 February 2019.
- ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r "Janet Tail Numbers". dreamlandresort.com. Dreamland Resort. Retrieved 26 February 2019.
- ^ a b "ASN Beech 1900C N27RA crash". aviation-safety.net. Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 26 February 2019.
- Popular Science article (archived from the original on September 24, 2006)
- Lazy G Ranch article
- Dreamlandresort.com – Janet
- "U.S. government airline Janet hides in plain site", news.com.au
- Wendover Production Video